Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service received a well deserved "pat on the back" from the Audit Commission in a report which singled out the brigade as a high performer.
The local fire brigade used taxpayer's money better than many other fire authorities and was more effective, had strong leadership, and enthusiastic, well motivated staff.
It gave a strong overall performance in a county with the second smallest mainland population. Nationally, fire service's which served larger populations with bigger budgets did not necessarily mean better performance, said the report.
Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority chair, Councillor Dave Morgan said today: "The Audit Commission has formally identified what I have known for a long time. That we have the most enthusiastic, professional and hard working staff who are all putting Shropshire's safety first.
"Clearly this is a pat on the back both for all those hard working and motivated staff in the Fire and Rescue Service and our partners who do much to support our work in the community." Chief Fire Officer Alan Taylor welcomed the report's findings which singled out the brigade for being a good fire and rescue authority.
"We are working hard to keep up this high performance and provide the best possible service for all the communities in Shropshire."
The Shropshire fire service was singled out as a high performing service a number of times in the detailed report.
Strong leadership in senior management combined to good effect with a well-developed and active role for elected members.
Shropshire's fire authority achieved a good overall performance despite a low budget compared to other authorities which spent more but were not as effective, the report stated.
There were highly motivated, enthusiastic and well managed staff able to recognise weaknesses and build on strengths, added the report.