Firefighters Awards

Receiving the Telent Charity Shield from Mr Phillip Appleby are Oswestry firefighters (left to right) Alan Walker, John Davies, Dave Dyke and Kenton Cawley from Oswestry Fire Station.

Firefighters were praised for their dedicated service to Shropshire at a special awards ceremony held at Shrewsbury Fire HQ.

Lord Lieutenant Algernon Heber-Percy presented Long Service and Good Conduct Medals to ten firefighters from across the county.

He thanked them for their loyalty and bravery in carrying out service to the community and praised wives, partners and children for their support which included giving up holidays and experiencing regular disturbed mealtimes.

"We appreciate everything that a firefighter does. You are a very valued industry," he said.

The Lord Lieutenant also paid tribute to retiring Chief Fire Officer Alan Taylor for his hard work and "great leadership" during his lengthy career.

A special award to recognise 40 years service was made to Whitchurch Station Manager Mike Beach praised for forging links with the community, motivating staff and pushing forward fire safety initiatives.

Receiving the High Sheriff Good Citizen Award was Clun firefighter Graeme Barker for his community work which involves being a Community First Responder teaching first aid and passing on lifesaving techniques.

As well as giving advice on fire safety in the home, Graeme is an avid fundraiser and helped to raise £30,000 for Hope House driving a disabled friend 3,800 miles to the Arctic Circle.

The award, made by High Sheriff Anne Gee, was for his "substantial contribution" to society and for making a real difference to the safety and well being of others.

Graeme Barker receives the High Sheriff Good Citizen Award from High Sheriff Anne Gee.

Four firefighters from Oswestry Fire Station, who have raised a phenomenal £100,000 over the past 20 years for a wide range of charities, won the Telent Charity Shield – an annual award for those making an outstanding contribution to charity.

The "Treble Niners," made up of firefighters Alan Walker, John Davies, Dave Dyke and Kenton Cawley, organise Oswestry's huge annual fireworks display attended by 3,000 each year and carry out charity car washes at the fire station.

Firefighter John Davies said that farmer David Kempster and Griffiths Tool Hire had also helped with the very successful fireworks display. The two events had raised money for Hope House, the Orthopaedic Hospital, County Air Ambulance and the National Firefighters Charity. Among many donations to local charities they have recently bought a sandpit and gazebo for the Methodist church nursery and a resuscitation unit for St John Ambulance.

Chief Fire Officer Alan Taylor said that many Shropshire people were alive today due to the bravery of dedicated firefighters.

Fire authority chairman Stuart West, who presented miniature medals to wives and partners, thanked them for their valuable support which was an important contribution to the brigade.

"It must be a worry when they go to a serious incident not sure when they will be back and if they will be harmed. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and the authorities heart for all you do," said Mr West.

Receiving the Long Service and Good Conduct Medals were: Group Manager John Das-Gupta, of Shrewsbury; Retained Leading Prees firefighter Peter Furber, Group Manager John Harrison, of Hadnall; Watch Manager Trainer Darren Smith, of Telford; Retained Baschurch Crew Manager Brian Welti; retained Newport firefighter Malcolm Wistanley awarded the Chief's Commendation for prompt action in helping to save a member of the public from fatal burns; Station Manager Neil Grove, from Shifnal; Training Watch Manager Carl Franks, of Telford; Shrewsbury firefighter Darren Jennings; and Baschurch firefighter Glenn Willis.

30th March, 2009