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Retiring - After 40 Years Service

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Retiring - After 40 Years Service

A Senior Fire Control Operator who managed Hereford and Worcester Fire Brigade’s emergency control room during the 1979 fire at Worcester’s Woolworths store and Hereford’s Sun Valley Poultry fire in 1993, is retiring this week after a successful 40 year career. 

Pam Davies was the youngest Fire Control Manager in the country when she took over the reins at the control room in Copenhagen Street, Worcester. Just 10 days into her new job her team took the 999 calls for the fire which ripped through the high street chain store and closed Worcester city centre.

“I will never forget the off duty fire control staff who had heard about the fire and came into control on their day off to assist their three colleagues who, at that point in time, were overloaded with calls. This commitment from our staff continues to this day,” said Pam.

Pam’s career started with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service then ten years later she transferred to Hereford and Worcester Fire Brigade as it was then known.

In 1986 Pam oversaw the installation of a new fire control system for the Brigade, which effectively replaced the old hand written records. The benefit of this system was that control operators could now deal with incidents in much greater depth allowing emergency response crews to be better informed before they reached an incident. Over the years further developments have taken place under Pam’s guidance in line with the emergence of new technologies and working practices including the current touch-screen systems used today at the fire control centre in Worcester.

A further milestone in Pam’s career included the Easter floods of 1998. Where, once again Pam and her team showed their professionalism and dedication beyond the call of duty - despite taking an unprecedented number of calls for assistance. This experience proved invaluable during the summer floods of 2007.

“We can’t forget that the Fire Service is all about people. One of the saddest days of my life was when we had the call on the September 6, 1993 to say that firefighters were missing at the Sun Valley fire in Hereford – this was a great shock to fire control staff some of whom had husbands at the scene. There was silence that day in fire control. It was the saddest day of my career.”

“I am leaving the Fire and Rescue Service at a time of potentially significant change in fire control. I wish my former colleagues all the best for the future and thank them for the very kind words I have received in recent weeks – I have been very proud to work with such a wonderful group of people in Staffordshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.”

Mark Yates, Chief Fire Officer, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said: “Having worked with Pam, albeit for a short period of time, it is clear that she has made a substantial and dedicated contribution to the Fire and Rescue Service in her 40 years of service. There have been major changes in the UK Fire and Rescue Service during Pam’s time – but one thing has certainly remained constant; the calm, professional efficiency of our control operators - no matter what the circumstances of the ‘999’ call.

“I wish Pam the very best in her retirement and I would like to formally put on record, on behalf of all of my colleagues, how thankful we are for the commitment Pam has shown in her 40 year career.”