Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service scoop Gold!

Pictured at the Awards Ceremony - Falck Chief Fire Officer Henrik Hansen (left) and Assistant Chief Fire Officer Steve Worrall of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service together with its Danish partner Falck, Europe's largest private provider of fire and rescue services, have clinched the prestigious European Commission Lifelong Learning 'Leonardo' Gold Award for quality in an international project.

The Anglo-Danish project, now entering its third year, is a unique and innovative partnership that to date has enabled over 50 staff from both organisations to undertake one-week exchange placements, with a further 20 placements planned for 2008. The project, funded through the EC's Lifelong Learning Programme has enabled staff to research, study and draw comparisons across a range of fire and rescue service activities leading to the exchange of innovative practices between the two countries. Those who have undertaken placements in the project have described it as - "a life changing experience."

Over 200 short-listed international projects from 27 European countries were judged by the Commission, with the top three nominations in several categories recently invited to Ljubljana to attend a grand awards ceremony hosted by Slovenia who hold 2008 European Union Presidency.

At the ceremony, comparable to that of the Oscars, the winners were announced in reverse order, with the Gold Award for quality presented by the Slovenian Minister for Education Dr Milan Zver, to Falck's Chief Fire Officer – Henrik Hansen and Shropshire's Assistant Chief Fire Officer – Steve Worrall. In accepting the award Mr Hansen paid thanks to the EC for funding the partnership, a partnership that had contributed to European fire safety.

Further photographs can be viewed at the following website:


Title: Falck and the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Staff Exchange 2006

Coordinator: Falck (DK)

Partnership: Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service Brigade Headquarters (UK)

Duration: 24 months, 2006-2007

Details: A unique partnership between the Danish private provider of fire, rescue and medical service Falck, and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, a UK public service. The Leonardo partnership successfully established the cooperation between a private and public sector emergency services and delivered motivated improvements at both organisational and personal level. The mutual learning strengthened the identified weakness in both organisations. The reciprocal exchanges of staff trainers (50) was undertaken over a two-year period. Besides the exchange of experiences in specific field and personal skill developments, the organisations are now better prepared to deliver emergency services in an international environment.

17th June, 2008