Trailblazing East End woman firefighter gets Queen’s award

ONE of the first women firefighters in the country has been awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal for distinguished service’ in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. East London fire chief Sian Griffiths, in charge at Shadwell, is one of a handful of women running fire London stations

By Mike Brooke

ONE of the first women firefighters in the country has been awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal 'for distinguished service' in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

The medal that East London fire chief Sian Griffiths has picked up is awarded to members of the fire service who have carried out acts of gallantry or made exceptional contribution and devotion to duty.

Sian, who joined the London Fire Brigade in 1985, is manager at Shadwell in the heart of London's Docklands, making her one of a handful of women in charge of a fire station.

"I have certainly seen significant progress in the area of equality in the fire service during my 25-year career," she said. "But we still have a way to go.

"I am passionate to help create a workplace that truly embraces fairness and equality."

She was praised last night by London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson for raising awareness of women as firefighters. He said: "This award is a reflection of the work Sian has done throughout her career, especially getting acceptance of women in the fire service."

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Sian was as fire chief at Willesden in north-west London for several years before moving to East London's new Millwall fire station on the Isle of Dogs, close to Canary Wharf.