Service celebrates staff achievement at annual awards

Excellence 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 17, celebrated the achievements of staff from across different areas of the Service. The commitment, dedication and professionalism of staff who regularly go above and beyond to provide the best possible service to the people of Cambridgeshire were all celebrated by around 140 guests. 

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, John Bridge DL. 

Long Service Award Support Staff – presented by the chief fire officer to support staff for 20 years of service. 

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.

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

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

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.”

Councillor Kevin Reynolds added: “It’s always a privilege to celebrate the careers of our retired members of staff and to present them with a small token of our thanks. Being a retired firefighter myself, I am well aware of the great sacrifices these individuals and their families have made throughout their careers, so I am proud to recognise the great contribution they have made to their communities. 
“It never fails to impress me how dedicated our staff are across all areas of the Service, and the high standards I see every day are indeed something that fills me with pride.”

The cost for the event was paid for by the generosity of the following organisations:
•    TruckEast and Scania
•    Emergency One and Clan Tools
•    Supply Plus
•    Bristol Uniforms
•    Hunter Apparel

David Hall, Sales Director at TruckEast, said: "We were delighted to once again sponsor the ceremony, which recognises the excellent work that goes on not just on the frontline, but also behind the scenes, to help make Cambridgeshire a safer place to be."

Mike Masden, Managing Director of Emergency One (UK) Ltd and Clan Tools & Plant Ltd, said: "We are delighted to be sponsoring awards again this year. The ceremony highlights the contribution that many individuals within the fire and rescue service make towards keeping our communities a safer place to live and work.

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.

  • Antony Estall – Crew Commander, Burwell
  • Alex Chrysanthou – Firefighter, Chatteris
  • Ben Fawcitt – Station Commander, Huntingdon
  • Scott Fretwell – Crew Commander, Cambridge
  • Paul Gascoigne – Firefighter, Combined Fire Control
  • Andy Titmuss – Crew Commander, Wisbech
  • Adam Woodbine – Firefighter, Kimbolton

Long Service Award Support Staff
Awarded after completing 20 years’ of public service.

  • Karen Garrard – Procurement Officer, Service HQ

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

  • John Chelton – Watch Commander, Wisbech
  • Mike Fishpoole – Watch Commander, Cottenham
  • Mick Percival – Watch Commander, Training Centre (Huntingdon)
  • Danny Rust – Property Manager, Service HQ
  • Trevor White – Crew Commander, Kimbolton

Excellence Awards

Fire Protection team
The teams from north and south of the county faced significant challenges responding to the fire at Grenfell Tower. They proactively provided reassurance to residents quickly while also helping to coordinate the national response to the aftermath of the tragedy.

Alternative appliance project – presented by Emergency One and Clan Tools 
Led by Station Commander Danny Kelly, the project team made up of staff from across the Service, has introduced new alternative appliances and trial kit to three on-call stations.

Seb Croot
Nominated three times, Seb has been widely recognised for his consistently high standards in his role as a crew commander at Linton Fire Station, as well as when on 
standby at other stations.

Combined Fire Control
Combined Fire Control is recognised for the way staff handled the unprecedented demand across Cambridgeshire and Suffolk during the spate of fires in the summer.

Portable Misting System team
A team made up of staff from community fire safety, property and control worked together to introduce the lifesaving portable misting systems and install them 
into vulnerable people’s homes.

Laura Walker
Choosing retention of on-call firefighters as the basis of her dissertation, Laura has taken her findings and presented them at a national conference to other fire and rescue services, showcasing Cambridgeshire as a leading service.

Cambridge Black Watch and Cottenham on-call crew
Using specialist in-water kit and lifesaving techniques, the crews rescued a member of the public that had fallen into the River Cam in October and worked with ambulance staff to resuscitate the casualty.

March on-call crew
The crew of four worked exceptionally hard to save the life of a casualty that went into cardiac arrest during a rescue from a property. They performed lifesaving techniques several times during the rescue and while being transported to hospital.

On-call Recruit of the Year
Chosen by the Service’s Training Centre team
Jordan Sutton
Jordan has been chosen for his resilience and determination during his course.

Community Champion of the Year
Ryan Berridge

For his commitment and support delivering community safety activity as a volunteer.

On-call Employer of the Year - presented by TruckEast and Scania.
Sainsbury’s Superstore, March
For its support in releasing staff along with providing a training venue and casualties for an exercise.

Certificate of Commendation

Ken Marshall and Dave Harding
For their support over many years for the training team in setting up and assessing no-notice exercises.

Rodney Cubberley
Providing dedication and commitment to Cambridge Fire Station for more than a decade.