KATIE BLUCK, Crew Manager at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has been named Runner-up for the ‘Firefighter Rising Star Award’ in the Women in the Fire Service Awards 2022.
Katie, who joined the Service in 2017 as an on-call Firefighter at Lampeter Station, and is now a Wholetime Firefighter at Pontardawe Fire Station, was nominated in the national awards for her remarkable contribution to the Fire Service.
The ‘Firefighter Rising Star Award’ category recognises individuals who have demonstrated a determination to succeed in their role and have been an advocate and ambassador on gender equality and empowerment issues.
Gemma Hodges, Katie’s colleague, and nominator, described Katie as a dedicated member of the Fire Service who had completed a course with Gower College to be a ‘Mental Health in the Workplace Practitioner’ to support her colleagues.
Katie is a qualified ‘Frontline Coach & Mentor’ through the University of South Wales, benefitting the firefighters that she leads at Pontardawe. Katie has also been involved in Female Awareness Sessions and webinars to raise consideration for the Service.
Gemma stated how Katie had shared her experiences as a firefighter and the progression opportunities available, with the University of South Wales Public Service students prior to their graduation.
The award submission detailed how Katie had brought a positive outlook to the Service and the role, and how she truly embodied the mantra “If it scares you, excites you and makes you grow, then the likelihood is that it is going to be an adventure!”
Roger Thomas, Chief Fire Officer at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are extremely proud of Katie. In her short career to date, she has already demonstrated that she is a confident and highly skilled firefighter, as well being a very positive influence and a great role model.
“Receiving this award is a wonderful achievement, and a great recognition of Katie’s commitment to our Service and the communities we serve.”
Speaking on the notification of her award, Katie said: “I am delighted to have been nominated for the WFS ‘Firefighter Rising Star Award’, and I feel very grateful to have received runner-up in the category. Thank you for recognising my achievements so far on my journey within the Fire and Rescue Service. I would like to personally extend this recognition to the supportive and progressive colleagues that I am surrounded by who enable me to continue to pursue my aspirations.”
Panel judge and WFS Vice-chair, Caroline Anderson QFSM, said: “Katies dedication to promoting the fire service as a career for women, supporting the mental health of her colleagues and her strong positive outlook and attitude is why she was nominated for the Rising Star Award. And deservedly so!”
Category sponsors of the Firefighter Rising Star Award were Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service.
Winners and runners-up receive prizes, as well as an invitation to attend a special award ceremony in June.