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The Mayor of Halton commended for being a voice for women in the fire service
THE Mayor of Halton has received a prestigious award to recognise her role as a national voice for women in the fire service.
Clr Margaret Ratcliffe was vice chairman of a national organisation, networking women in the fire service.
She worked in admin support at Runcorn Fire Station in Heath Road for 16 years, until her recent retirement, and was appointed to the executive committee in 2003.
Clr Ratcliffe, of Park Road, Runcorn, said: “It was very rewarding. It was to promote the equality agenda, exchange views, organise training and represent control staff, admin and female firefighters.”
She attended regular meetings with Government ministers, union representatives and fire chiefs from all over the country.
She said: “I met key ministers and got to know them very well over the years. We used to sit around a table with chief fire officers and discuss important issues.
“It gave our group a voice at a very high Government level.
“Being a councillor and a magistrate helped me to have confidence to put forward views.
“It was a big commitment. We used to meet every six weeks. It was very rewarding to be able to help so many people. We had 200 members.”
She organised training sessions at the fire service college in the Cotswolds and gave talks in schools to encourage more girls into the profession.
The voluntary role gave her a chance to network with a wide variety of people.
She added: “It was great to be part of it. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
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