MBE for Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Published: 09 Jun 2019

A Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service manager who developed an essential guidebook which is supporting fire services across the country will receive an MBE for her outstanding work.

Health and Safety Manager, Veronica Adlam, was inspired to write a guidance document following the Harrow Court tower block fire in February 2005, where two Hertfordshire firefighters and a member of the public lost their lives in Stevenage.

The result was an internal document offering vital support to senior management following fatal incidents entitled, ‘Death in the Workplace Guidance’, which Veronica wrote in 2006. The document has since become an essential handbook for fire services and colleagues nationwide.

Having supported investigations into fatal incidents, Veronica felt there was a gap in support for fire services facing the loss of colleagues in tragic circumstances, as well as health and safety professionals within the service.

Commenting on her nomination, Veronica said: “I was astonished, I had to read it multiple times before it sank in. I thought it was a mistake, but I feel incredibly privileged and humbled to accept this accolade for ‘Services to Firefighter Safety’.

“In my role as the Health and Safety Manager there have been some challenging times, but my number one priority throughout this time has been to improve working conditions for firefighters.”

Commenting on her award, due to be presented this autumn, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Director for Community Protection, Darryl Keen said: “The whole of Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue service are immensely proud of Veronica whose MBE is so richly deserved in recognition of her many years of hard, diligent and dedicated work.

“We are delighted that Veronica’s abiding commitment to fire service safety has made such a positive impact on the UK fire and rescue services. We are extremely fortunate to have her as a colleague and wish her many congratulations on the announcement of this prestigious award.”

Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Waste Management, Cllr Terry Hone said: “On behalf of Hertfordshire residents, may I take this opportunity to congratulate Veronica on being recognised with an MBE. She, like many of her colleagues, are true professionals who work tirelessly to ensure the safety of firefighters and all of us.

"This very special award recognises the unique contribution she has made towards fire safety locally and nationally. Well done Veronica!”

Veronica’s ‘handbook’ for fire and rescue service colleagues was developed into national guidance and The Chief Fire Officers Association (now known as the National Fire Chiefs Council) published the ‘Death in the Workplace Guidance’ in May 2013.

Other major incidents Veronica drew upon for the handbook include working with a senior officer on the investigation into the death of a fire officer while attending a minor car fire on the A1M in June 2007.

She was also actively involved in the development of another CFOA publication – ‘Health, Safety and Welfare Framework for the Operational Environment’, published in June 2013.

Veronica, who lives in Waltham Abbey with husband Mark, has worked for the Hertfordshire service for almost 19 years, joining as the first non-uniformed Health and Safety Adviser.

She rose through the ranks to Health and Safety Manager and is a Chartered Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and a member of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Managers (IIRSM).

Commenting on the highlights of her career, Veronica said: “Driving a fire engine to raise money for the Firefighters Charity, attending an on-going incident to advise on safety issues and being trussed up like a chicken in a stretcher as a volunteer on a rescue exercise, to name just a few!”