Dave Walton receives lifetime achievement award

A fire chief has been presented with a lifetime achievement award for his outstanding work with hazardous materials.

Dave Walton, left, receives the award from Ed Sullivan

Dave Walton, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service(WYFRS), received the award at the NCEC Hazmat 2023 conference when the work he does across the country was highlighted to hundreds of delegates.

Dave is a national leader in Hazmat (hazardous materials), and is the National Fire Chiefs Council Hazmat lead. He was also Project Executive for the FRS National Operational Guidance Programme Hazmat project.

Fire services across the country responds to a wide range of incidents involving hazardous materials. These can have the potential to cause harm to firefighters, other emergency responders, the local community, animals, and the environment. Our firefighters may be called specifically to deal with emergency spillages or releases - or may encounter hazardous materials at fires and other emergency incidents.

The award was presented by Ed Sullivan, Head of Hazmat Training at NCEC, who said: “Having served as a Hazmat Officer earlier in his FRS career Dave has always been focused on the challenge that Hazmat incidents provide to responders, and he is driven by the desire to demystify this subject for them. 

“Dave has also long been a supporter of the Hazmat conference providing our opening keynote for many years. We really appreciate his involvement and support.

“In 2016 Dave was very honoured to be presented with the Queens Fire Service Medal. While this Lifetime Achievement Award can’t compare with the grandeur of that event, we hope Dave is honoured to receive this award recognising his contribution to the hazmat community and all he has done to make this subject clear and easy to understand for front line staff, allowing them to provide a safe and effective response service.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award honours those who have made significant contributions to the field of hazardous materials over their careers. Dave is passionate about fire safety and emergency response training, and his commitment to keeping communities safe has earned him admiration from colleagues and members of the public alike.

“It is a great honour to receive this award and it was totally unexpected,” said Dave. “I am passionate about my work and it is humbling to be recognised by my peers in such a way. I look forward to continuing my work in hazmat and helping to make our firefighters safer and even more prepared for any situation that might arise.”