Excellence celebrated at annual fire service awards

EXCELLENCE, innovation, leadership and exemplary service were celebrated at the annual Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) Excellence Awards. 

The annual event, which took place at the Huntingdon Marriott Hotel on Thursday (January 18), celebrated the achievements of staff from across different areas of the Service.

It awarded the commitment, dedication and professionalism of staff who regularly go above and beyond to provide the best possible service to the people of Cambridgeshire.

Hosting the event was Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland together with Assistant Chief Fire Officer Rick Hylton and Head of Media and Communication Hayley Douglas, who presented the following awards:

Long Service and Good Conduct medals - presented under a Royal Warrant for members of the uniformed service after completing 20 years of long and meritorious service to the fire and rescue service and the public. These were presented by Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Colonel Colin Elsden DL.

Chairman's Awards - an award made to retired staff that have completed at least 25 years' service with CFRS. Presented by Chairman of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority, Kevin Reynolds.

Certificate of Commendation - a formal recognition to both members of staff and external stakeholders.

Excellence Awards - these awards reflect a variety of different achievements that were nominated by staff in the Service and chosen by a judging panel.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland said: “Our awards allow us to celebrate all the hard work and dedication shown by staff and to thank them and their families for providing great support.

“It gives me great pride to be able to recognise the achievements of so many members of staff from across the different areas of the Service. The passion, enthusiasm and professionalism shown by our winners, as well as the years of commitment shown by those receiving long service awards, is really inspiring. It shows me how devoted our staff are to providing a great service to the people of Cambridgeshire.

“Being able to celebrate our staff achievements in this way would not be possible without the continued support of our sponsors. I must say a big thank you to all the organisations that have contributed to the evening.”

The cost for the event was paid for by the generosity of the following organisations:

  • TruckEast and Scania
  • Emergency One and Clan Tools
  • Holmatro
  • Panasonic Toughbook
  • Interspiro
  • Bristol Uniforms
  • Hunter Apparel
  • Supply Plus

The evening ended with a raffle of prizes donated by sponsors.

The list of awards and recipients are included below:

Long Service and Good Conduct medal recipients

Awarded after completing 20 years' long and meritorious service to the fire and rescue service and the public.

  • Shaun Bailes – Firefighter, Wisbech
  • Vicky Best – Station Commander, St Neots
  • Gareth Boyd – Watch Commander, Huntingdon
  • Jenni Boyd – Watch Commander, Combined Fire Control
  • Martin Dunn – Firefighter, March
  • Pete Faulder – Crew Commander, Dogsthorpe
  • Martin Harriss – Firefighter, Whittlesey
  • Rick Hylton – Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Service HQ
  • Per Middleton – Group Commander, Service HQ
  • Wayne Pringle – Watch Commander, Ely
  • Stocker Standen – Watch Commander, Huntingdon

Chairman's Award

Presented to retired personnel who have completed at least 25 years' service.

  • Gary Pownall – Crew Commander, St Ives
  • Geoff Quince – Station Commander, Community Fire Safety, Service HQ 

Excellence Awards

Fundraiser of the Year Award - an individual, team or event that has raised a significant amount of money or generated support for a charity or other good cause.

Peter Bromley (Combined Fire Control)

Peter was inspired to raise money for both The Fire Fighters Charity and the Royal British Legion by having special poppy badges made. The Service’s crest was combined with the standard poppy emblem to make a badge that staff could wear with pride in the lead up to Remembrance Day. This raised £1,000 for the Royal British Legion and £500 for The Fire Fighters Charity.

Community Champion of the Year Award

Andrew Doherty (Cambridge)

Andrew has shown great passion for the work he does as a community champion and is very active in his community. He delivers important home fire safety messages to some of the most vulnerable residents in the community when they need it most.

On-call Employer of the Year Award - sponsored by TruckEast and Scania. An employer that has demonstrated excellent support to the on-call duty system. 

Pinewood Structures (Gamlingay)

Pinewood Structures has been supporting Gamlingay Fire Station for more than 30 years, releasing staff to respond to incidents during working hours.

Partnership Achievement Award - an achievement, initiative or event that has brought benefits to the Service or public through excellent partnership working. 

Ross Turner (Cambridge)
Ross exceeded expectations after being tasked with producing a catalogue of the Service’s equipment. This went onto form part of a multi-agency document showing the equipment available for police and ambulance colleagues, allowing partners to potentially share resources and avoid duplication.

On-call Recruit of the Year

Paul Hudson (Ely)

Paul displayed exceptional skills right from the beginning of the training course. He performed outstandingly in all areas and passed his assessments first time, helping and encouraging others along the way. Throughout his training he was a key team player, always smiling and working hard.

Award for Innovation and Improvement - an innovative idea or value for money concept carried through from planning to implementation, making a significant impact on the Service.

Dan Foord (Sawston)
Dan came up with an innovative way to try and promote Sawston Fire Station recruiting on-call firefighters. He brought the station together to film a video to use on the Service’s social media channels. Dan not only filmed but also edited the video together, in his own time. It proved to be very popular, receiving more than 150,000 views and, more importantly, resulted in more on-call interest. The video is available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/cambsfrs/videos/10155357444884171/).

Leadership Achievement Award - an individual who has shown outstanding leadership.

Wayne Pringle (Ely)
Wayne’s leadership of the on-call crew at Ely Fire Station has been truly exceptional. His dedication to recruiting more staff to support both fire engines at the station has showed significant improvements in their availability. Not only this, but Wayne has ensured the newly recruited staff have been supported through their initial probation periods, while also helping surrounding stations with their staff by hosting several on-call support sessions.

Operational Excellence Award - a demonstration of excellence by an individual or team during an incident. 

Paul Gascoigne (Combined Fire Control)
Paul excellent call handling during a house fire in Suffolk helped ensure a family escaped unharmed. Paul spent more than 16 minutes with the caller, who was in the house with her two children, encouraging her to stay in the upstairs bedroom until help arrived. The family was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, but did not sustain any other injuries.

Team Achievement Award - an outstanding team achievement or a team that has consistently performed above expectations. 

Equipment team - Russell Evans and George Kidd (Peterborough)
Being a team of two, Russell and George have a tough task at the best of times ensuring the Service’s operational equipment is maintained to a high standard. This past year has presented a significant challenge with the introduction of the new asset database, requiring almost a full time position to support the implementation. George not only took to this task extremely well, but Russell ensured the day-to-day management of equipment maintenance was delivered to its usual high standards. 

Certificate of Commendation - a stakeholder that has demonstrated excellent support to the Service.

Michele Carter (Peterborough)
Michele has provided outstanding support for The Fire Fighters Charity for many years. Since joining the Service in 1978 she has organised fitness classes at both Dogsthorpe and Stanground fire stations, with the money raised being donated to the charity. Although Michele left the Service in 2013, she continues to host these classes, which have raised more than £17,500.

Papworth Hospital
Papworth Hospital not only releases staff during working hours to help maintain fire engine availability in the village, but also supports crews by providing venues for training exercises.