Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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Dedicated Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) staff and their families celebrated a combined 1,040 years of public service at a Long Service Awards ceremony last night (March 8, 2018).
A total of 52 recipients and their relatives gathered at the Imperial War Museum North, Salford to recognise their achievements and proudly collect their 20 years’ service medal.
Between them, the recipients have saved countless lives, protected people, pets and property from the devastating impact of fire, represented GMFRS internationally with the United Kingdom International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) team and have faced a range of challenging incidents - from working in extreme weather conditions, to flood response and attending road traffic collisions.
All of the recipients have dedicated their working life to keeping the people and communities of Greater Manchester safe.
Looking back on his career, Kristian Bailey, Watch Manager at Ramsbottom community fire station said: “As corny as it probably sounds, I enjoy the fact my actions out on the fire engines and working in the community can have positive effects on the people I serve.”
Watch Manager at Philips Park, Christopher Davies likes the culture and camaraderie of the Service, especially being part of a watch and a team. “I still get a buzz from the challenge of not knowing what I am going to be faced with every time I come to work,” he said.
51 operational colleagues were presented with the Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal from the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr Warren J. Smith JP. To be eligible to receive the medal, individuals must have kept excellent standard in their character and conduct throughout their career with the Service.
The evening also saw one member of support staff presented with the Fire and Rescue Service 20 Years Long Service Medal. Their work to assist frontline colleagues is vital, and contributes greatly to the growth and development of the Service.
Medal recipients were congratulated on their achievements and thanked for their distinguished service and bravery by Interim Chief Fire Officer, Dawn Docx.
She said: “It’s with great pleasure that I welcome you here tonight for this very special presentation. We are here to celebrate the service you have given for more than 20 years, to your communities in Greater Manchester, as well as elsewhere in the UK and internationally.”
“We are also here to give gratitude to your friends and family for the support they have given you throughout your career. They have been with you through the good times, and the difficult incidents that you have faced. They have supported you throughout your service, and we want to thank them, as much as we want to thank you.”
Closing the ceremony, the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr Warren J. Smith JP said:
“It is an exceptional privilege to be invited here this evening on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. I am now in my eleventh year of representing here in Greater Manchester, and this ceremony is one of the highlights of my year.
“The officers awarded this evening obtain a vast reservoir of experience that is invaluable to our younger firefighters. I would like to congratulate each and every one of you for the great service you do for the communities of Greater Manchester and for the British public.
“And to the friends and families that have joined us tonight, all of us here and many outside of this room thank you for the valued support you have given whilst they continue a stressful job.”
Watch the highlights video from last night below: