Hannah Caulfield, a Station Manager for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has been named ‘Exceptional Allies Award’ winner in the Women in the Fire Service Awards 2022.
Hannah, who joined Cheshire in 2007 as a firefighter at Winsford Fire Station, was nominated twice in the national awards for remarkable contributions to the Fire Service.
The ‘Exceptional Allies’ category recognises individuals promoting gender equality and supporting colleagues to be the best they can be.
Firefighter Abi van Loon, Hannah’s colleague and nominator, described her as being a huge help to her since starting at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service three years ago. Abi stated how hard Hannah worked to make new staff feel supported but also to put processes in place to improve the job for female firefighters. Maternity, menopause and welfare facilities were just a few of the things Hannah had made huge changes to for staff. Hannah set up WhatsApp groups to provide support for staff on maternity leave and arranged regular meetups. Abi said Hannah was passionate about gender equality and had made many positive changes in the Service.
Alex Waller, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at Cheshire Fire & Rescue said: ‘Hannah demonstrates exceptional qualities in her ability to recognise and support our staff networks. The commitment she has shown, and continues to show, in support of gender equality and women’s issues is inspirational and she is a true role model within the Service for both women and men. We are extremely proud that Hannah has been named the WFS Exceptional Ally, it is very well deserved.’
Speaking on the notification of her award, Hannah said: ‘I was very surprised to hear I had won this award but am incredibly humbled that I was nominated for two categories. It is a great honour to have been recognised by WFS; there is fantastic support for all staff within Cheshire, with the core belief being that if people can completely be themselves at work, it enables us all to reach our full potential.’
About Women in the Fire Service
Women in the Fire Service UK is a not-for-profit organisation who work in partnership with its member services to advance equality in the sector.
Caroline Anderson, WFS Vice-chair, said: ‘Hannah epitomises the criteria for our Exceptional Allies Award in going that extra mile to promote gender equality and support. She has raised the profile of menopause and women’s issues with her Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and worked hard to bring women together within the service, all while maintaining her full-time job as a station manager and mum. Well done Hannah!’
Category sponsors of the Exceptional Allies Award were Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service and the National Fire Chiefs Council End Point Assessment Partnership.
Winners and runners-up receive prizes, as well as an invitation to attend a special award ceremony in June.