Pontardawe fire station officer Katie Bluck is hot property this week after being named runner-up in the ‘Firefighter Rising Star Awards’.

Katie fought her way through 60 female nominations which were submitted from a total of 25 fire services throughout Wales.

“We are so proud of Katie,” said chief fire officer Roger Thomas. “ In her short career, she’s demonstrated that she’s a confident and highly skilled firefighter, as well being a very positive influence and a great role model to everyone around her.

“Receiving this award is a wonderful achievement, and a great recognition of Katie’s commitment.”

Katie joined the fire service in 2017 as an on-call firefighter at Lampeter station but is now a fulltime fighter at the Pontardawe fire station.

In addition to her duties as an officer, Katie is also a qualified ‘mental health in the workplace’ practitioner and a frontline coach and mentor to her colleagues.

This week’s announcement is a major accolade for Katie, following five years in the service.

“It’s a real honour to have been given the award,” she said, “and I’m so grateful to all my colleagues for supporting me during my journey and for constantly helping me to continue pursuing my aspirations.”

Meanwhile panel judge Caroline Anderson commented, “Katie's dedication to promoting the fire service as a career for women, supporting the mental health of her colleagues and her strong positive outlook and attitude is why she was nominated for the Rising Star Award. And deservedly so!”