Fire and Rescue Service staff recognised for their long service

Dedicated Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) staff and their families celebrated a combined 940 years of public service at a Long Service Awards Ceremony over the weekend (Saturday, March 23).

A total of 25 recipients from the Service and their relatives gathered at the Training and Safety Centre in Bury to recognise their achievements and proudly collect their 20 years’ Service medals.

Between them, the recipients have saved countless lives, protected people, pets and property from the devastating impact of fire, represented GMFRS internationally with Operation Florian and have faced a range of challenging incidents - from working in extreme weather conditions, flood response, attending multiple moorland fires and road traffic collisions.

All of the recipients have dedicated their working lives to keeping the people and communities of Greater Manchester safe.

Looking back over his career, Watch Manager Dexter Marshall said: “During my time at GMFRS I have been fortunate enough to work alongside many great people who always have each other’s backs with great camaraderie.

“Over the years I have turned out to a wide range of incidents, yet I still come across new and challenging jobs. Driving away knowing I have done the best I can for the public, is what being in the fire service is all about.”

23 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 ceremony also saw Nicola Mills from the ER Hub presented with the Fire and Rescue Service 20 Years Long Service Medal and Watch Manager Paul Hesford was recognised for his 40 years of service.

Paul joined the Service in 1978 after completing his basic training at London Road Fire Station and has since retired after reaching his 40 years of service.

He said: “I am very privileged to have been a part of the Service, and I am very proud of the work that everybody does to protect the communities of Greater Manchester.

“I have been involved in many challenging incidents, but there have also been far more rewarding occasions which have proved how much members of the public value the work of the fire service.”

Medal recipients were congratulated on their achievements and thanked for their distinguished service and bravery by Chief Fire Officer, Jim Wallace. 

Speaking at the ceremony, Jim Wallace said: “It’s with great pleasure that I welcome you here today for this very special presentation. We are here to celebrate the service you have given over the last 20 and 40 years, to your communities in Greater Manchester, as well as elsewhere in the UK and internationally.”

“Today is to celebrate your hard work with those that have supported you the most throughout your careers. 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 today on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. I am now in my twelfth year of representing here in Greater Manchester, and this ceremony is one of the highlights of my year.

“The officers awarded 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.

“I am delighted to be able to personally thank each of you, each of whom have dedicated so much of your lives to protecting the public."

24/03/2019 20:44 PM