MFRS staff recognised in Kings Birthday Honours List

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) has welcomed the news from the weekend that two of its officers have been honoured in the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours List.

Area Manager Paul Murphy has received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in recognition of his services to the Citizens of Ukraine, whilst Heritage and Ceremonial Services Coordinator and Fire Cadet Instructor Steve Bousfield has received a BEM (Medallist of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to the community in Merseyside.

Paul has had a long and distinguished career in the Fire and Rescue Service, having joined the Service in 1995. During his career, Paul has served in several departments such as Operational Planning, Operational Performance, Operational Equipment, New Dimension, Liverpool stations and Prevention and Protection.

Paul rose through the ranks steadily, serving at stations throughout Merseyside and in a number of roles and directorates before reaching the rank of Area Manger in 2017.

In his current role, Paul sits on the National Resilience Board and the urban search and rescue working and user groups. He is also on the national advisor registers for urban search and rescue and flood response.

As part of this role, Paul has played a pivotal part in leading the coordination of numerous equipment convoys to Ukraine. In April this year, MFRS led the largest UK fire and rescue service convoy that saw volunteers from MFRS join 15 Fire and Rescue Services from England and Wales to coordinate the delivery of 30 fire and rescue vehicles, two mechanics vehicles, and an HGV carrying over 2,800 items of surplus equipment. Amongst the 30 fire and rescue vehicles were 20 fire engines, eight incident command units, one aerial ladder platform, and one 4x4 vehicle. This, and all of the convoys prior, would not have been possible without the tremendous efforts of Paul.

Area Manager Paul Murphy said:

“I am humbled to be awarded an MBE, it was totally unexpected and a great surprise. I worked as part of a team on Ukraine but I am honoured to be recognised for such a prestigious award.

I am proud to represent Merseyside Fire and Rescue and my commitment remains to the people of Merseyside. We are no strangers to adversity, we will always help and support people, and if we have made even the smallest difference to help alleviate other people’s suffering then it has all been worthwhile."

Steve Bousfield has been an asset to MFRS since starting his career in 1984. He completed 17 years of vital work in Fire Control before becoming a firefighter in 2001. Steve had an esteemed career as a firefighter and was involved in managing events at the World Firefighter Games 2008 and United Kingdom Rescue Organisation Rescue Competition 2013.

Prior to his retirement in 2020, he spent many years giving back to the community as a Watch Manager at Southport Fire Station, where he founded Southport Fire Cadets in 2017.

Outside of MFRS, Steve has consistently been at the heart of the community in Merseyside. He has been involved in Scouting since 1976, an active St John Ambulance volunteer since 1986 and he is currently a member of the Parish Leadership Team at Hearthstone Parish in Ainsdale.

Steve still carries out duties at MFRS as the Archivist and Historian for the service where he coordinates ceremonial activities and supports the funerals of both serving and former members of the service.

Steve Bousfield said:

"I am truly honoured to have received the BEM. I have enjoyed all my voluntary work, especially helping young people to develop, as it has provided me with many great opportunities to do things and meet people I would otherwise not have done."

Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said:

"I am very proud of Paul and Steve, they truly are deserving recipients of these awards and it is fantastic to see them being honoured in this way. Paul has been pivotal to the convoy deliveries to Ukraine and Steve has played long and distinguished role in supporting our communities. Our vision is to be the best fire and rescue service in the country, and that means having the very best people in and across the Service to help us to keep our communities safe. Their efforts exemplify everything that is great about our Service.”