MBE ‘shock’ for firefighter

Steve Darby.
Steve Darby.

A Lancaster firefighter collected his MBE medal at Buckingham Palace last week.

Steve Darby, an Incident Intelligence Officer in Northern Area, was named in the New Year’s Honours at the end of last year.

He was awarded the MBE on Friday, March 14, for the work he has done with Operation Florian.

He first worked with the charity in 2002 when he saw an advert in a Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service newsletter asking for firefighters to give up some of their time to train de-mobilised Serb, Croat and Muslim soldiers at a training camp in Neum, Bosnia.

Since then, Steve, 50, has worked tirelessly with the charity and in 2007 he joined the management committee as the Member’s Representative, becoming a co-director in September 2013.

He said: “I was both shocked and delighted after being told that I was to be given the award. This is something that I did not expect.

“However, I genuinely think that this award is for everyone who has worked for and supported Operation Florian, including many people, past and present, from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and just as importantly for our families who are left holding the fort at home whilst we are away on projects.

“Without their support, the work that we do at the charity would not be possible.”

The majority of Steve’s work with Operation Florian has taken place in Bosnia and Montenegro although as the charity’s profile has been raised across the world,

Steve has led similar missions in Ecuador, Macedonia and Portugal.