Chief Fire Officer of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, Paul Walker, has been recognised as part of the New Year’s Honours List 2018 with the Queen’s Fire Service Medal.

Paul joined Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service in September 2009 as Deputy Chief Fire Officer and became Chief Fire Officer in June 2015. This appointment followed 20 years operational and managerial experience in Somerset County Fire Brigade, London Fire Brigade and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. He has also worked for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) as a team leader for Operational Assessment of Service Delivery.

Paul completed the Fire and Rescue Service Executive Leadership Programme with Warwick University to achieve a Masters in Public Service Leadership (MSc) and is also a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers (FIFireE).

During his time in the role, Paul has led many change and improvement projects supporting the service in gaining sector and partner recognition as a high performing service that embraces and delivers wide reaching and varied community safety prevention and response services across Cornwall.Paul leads the National Fire Chiefs Council International Coordinating Group and has been the UK representative on the Federation of the European Union Fire Officer Associations for the past 10 years as well as an active participant in the European Union exchange of experts programme.

Paul said: “It is a great honour to have been awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal. While I am personally delighted to receive this recognition I would also like to recognise and pay tribute to all my colleagues that I have worked alongside throughout my career from firefighters to the non-operational staff. I’m very proud to be part of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, who are my second family and who all work hard for our local communities.”

Cornwall Council cabinet member for environment and public protection Sue James said: “I'm absolutely delighted that Paul has been awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal. I have seen at first hand his professionalism, dedication and his innovative approach to keeping communities safe. I am thrilled to personally congratulate Paul on this significant achievement, which is very well deserved.”

Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd said: “In both his role as Chief Fire Officer of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, and his international commitments, Paul Walker has made many contributions to keeping the wider public safe. His work has improved the lives of the local community and I would like to thank him for his leadership and dedication.”

Also Dr Rohit Shankar, 43, from Truro, Consultant in Adult Developmental Psychiatry has been awarded the MBE For services to people with learning disabilities in Cornwall

His citation says: "He has developed a respected safety checklist for use with patients with epilepsy and their families to better understand their condition, robustly assess risk of sudden death and in doing so, reduces this risk. Shared decision making with patients and families is facilitated by this approach. This work has been presented internationally and adopted in several countries: New Zealand, The Netherlands, France, Canada and Brazil. Within the UK, it has been advocated by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence). He has been tireless in developing, improving and disseminating the tool. The checklist and monitoring tool are simple and effective with widespread acceptance and improved safety as a result. His innovations aim to improve assessment, treatment, safety and patient experience. He rapidly adopts and adapts new technology, always looking to find a way to improve patient care."