AN ‘INSPIRATIONAL’ Hampshire firefighter has been praised by colleagues after her nomination for a coveted award.

Lacey Plumbley, watch manager at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, was nominated for the Rising Star Award by Women in the Fire Service UK (WFS).

The organisation, established as a self-help group in 1993, aims to enable and inspire women in fire brigades across the county to build a more progressive Fire and Rescue Service.

And last week the group named the winners of its 2020 Women in the Fire Service UK Awards, honouring those individuals who have developed, encouraged and reinforced the role of women in the sector.

Lacey was one of just 50 candidates across seven categories who were selected nationwide.

The Rising Star Award for which she was in contention recognises "a woman firefighter who has demonstrated a determination to succeed in their role and/or been an advocate and ambassador on gender equality and empowerment issues".

And although she narrowly missed out on winning the award, colleagues have heaped the praise on her.

A message shared on Twitter by the county’s fire service read: “We'd like to say a huge well done to Watch Manager Lacey Plumbley and congratulate her for being nominated for a WFS Rising Star Award.

“Lacey is an asset to Team Hants and an inspiration for many young women across Hampshire.”

Lyndhurst firefight Beth Anderson also took to social media to comment, describing her colleague as a “role model”.

West Sussex’s Steve Buchanan-Lee added: “Such a well-deserved recognition of your fantastic work in helping others achieve their full potential - both as individuals and as part of a team.”

And group manager Brian Neat wrote: “Leading by example and being an example of a leader, [a] positive role model for so many.”

Lacey was narrowly pipped to award with Derbyshire’s Danielle Heathcote named the winner, and Cambridgeshire’s Agata Wieczorek the runner-up.

Commenting after the results were announced, Lacey wrote on Twitter: “Really proud to of been nominated for this award. Receiving the nomination was amazing. The recognition for what I feel is just doing my job is even better. Thank you. Well done Agata, absolutely deserved.”