Deputy Chief Fire Officer awarded Queen’s Fire Service Medal in New Year’s Honours List

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s (MFRS) Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO), Nick Searle has been recognised in this year’s New Year Honours List for 2022, receiving the prestigious award of the Queen’s Fire Service Medal (QFSM).

The Queen’s 2021 Honours list was announced in the official newspaper of the Crown, The Gazette, today. A great honour in the Fire & Rescue community, the QFSM was introduced in 1954 is awarded for distinguished service or gallantry.

Nick has had a long and distinguished career in the Fire & Rescue Service, having joined the service in 1995 as a recruit firefighter after a career in the in the British Army. Nick rose through the ranks steadily, serving at stations throughout Merseyside and in a number of roles and directorates before reaching the rank of Deputy Chief Fire Officer in October 2018.

Nick led the UK International Search and Rescue Team (UKISAR) on a British Fire & Rescue Service flood deployment to Bosnia in 2014 and has been a member of UKISAR since 2011.

DCFO Searle is responsible for Operational Preparedness, Collaboration and lead officer for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority’s role as Lead Authority for National Resilience. Nationally, he is the NFCC (National Fire Chiefs Council) Strategic Lead for both UK National Resilience and the UK International Search and Rescue Team (ISAR), which most recently saw action in wildfires in Greece. Nick is also the capability lead for Urban Search and Rescue.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Nick Searle, said: “It is a great honour to receive the Queen’s Fire Service Medal in the New Year Honours, and looking at those who have received this honour I am in very good company. I have had a fantastic career and I am inspired by colleagues here in Merseyside and Fire Services across the UK every day. Here in MFRS we work together closely as a team and put our community first, so while this is a personal award it feels in many ways that we all share it.”

Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: “I am very proud of my friend and colleague today, he is a most deserving recipient of this award and it is fantastic to see him being honoured in this way. Nick is an exceptional example of the kind of highly skilled and professional officers that we produce here in MFRS. Our vision is to be the best fire and rescue service in the country, and that means having the very best people in leadership roles and across the Service to help us to keep our communities safe.”

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service provides smoke alarms free of charge to those over 65 or meeting certain criteria. To find out if you are eligible or for free fire safety advice, please call 0800 731 5958.