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Not everyone who goes into public service finds themselves thrust into the public limelight. Some are content to get on with their job and leave the paparazzi-attracting lifestyle to others. Nevertheless, it's always good to see someone's hard work publicly acknowledged. Once such example came in 2002 when David Moses, Head of the Safety, Emergency and Risk Management Unit of Hertfordshire County Council, UK, was awarded an OBE1 in the Queen's New Year Honours List for services to emergency planning.
Joining the County Council
David joined the county council in the mid-1980s as Chief Emergency Planning Officer. Since then he and his team have transformed what was then a civil defence function into a modern, responsive emergency planning service that has been put to the test and proved its worth on many occasions. The county has seen three major rail crashes in the past six years - at Watford, Hatfield and Potters Bar - and Hertfordshire has been commended for its prompt and effective response.
In the light of Hertfordshire's experience of dealing with three other major incidents - including a gas explosion in the early 1990s - the county council hosted a workshop for other authorities. This resulted in the establishment of the National Steering Committee on Warning and Informing the Public which David chaired from 1996 to 2001.
Interviewed at the time, Moses described his award as both a great personal honour and a reflection of what Hertfordshire's emergency planners had achieved:
To say I'm delighted is an under-estimate.