A COVENTRY firefighter who has spent two decades helping victims in disaster zones around the world has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2016.
Group Commander Sean Moore has spent most of his career as a West Midlands firefighter based in Coventry where he was brought up and has been recognised for his services to national and international search and rescue.
The 49-year-old, from Brandon, was among the personnel who responded to Hurricane Rita in the US, and earthquakes in Turkey, Indonesia, Haiti, New Zealand, Japan and Nepal.
In 2014 he also coordinated fire and rescue service resources supporting logistics for the UK response to the Ebola crisis and last year the UK response to flooding in Bosnia.
His humanitarian work has seen him go to Romania, Bosnia, South Asia, China, the Middle East and Tanzania.
Sean joined West Midlands Fire Service in 1989 after serving in the Royal Navy.
Since then he has provided guidance and support to fire and rescue services, other agencies and the Government on national resilience issues – including Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), flood and international response.
Previously, Sean was seconded to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and was part of the project team which introduced USAR across the UK fire and rescue sector following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US.
Sean, who attended Cardinal Wiseman secondary school, said: “I feel very humbled and honoured to be recognised with the OBE.
“It was a total surprise – I had to read the letter several times before I understood what it was.
“I only wish my mum, who passed away five weeks ago, could have been here to see it.”
Sean added he got a great deal of satisfaction from working with some of the most highly motivated and professional firefighters and rescue personnel across the country.
“I simply enjoy helping people, especially at their greatest hour of need,” Sean added.
“I have witnessed many distressing situations across the world, where people have quite literally lost everything.
“It never fails to amaze me how we can, at very short notice, mobilise and deploy our teams to support the rescue and humanitarian missions and do whatever we can to relieve people’s suffering.”
Phil Loach, chief fire officer for the West Midlands, said Sean’s OBE was fitting recognition for someone who had put service to communities at home and abroad before personal aspiration.
He added: “Sean has made a number of personal sacrifices to undertake his search and rescue work, and I’m sure that his colleagues and people throughout the West Midlands will join me in congratulating him.”