Fire Service Awards Evening celebrates long service and staff achievements

24 June 2010

Awards logo.

CAMBRIDGESHIRE Fire and Rescue Service celebrated long service, staff achievements and support from the local community at its annual awards evening last night.

About 160 guests arrived at the Marriott Hotel in Huntingdon for the event, including recipients of medals, winners of awards and their families.

Hosts for the evening were Chief Fire Officer Graham Stagg and BBC Look East presenter Janine Machin.
Awards presented on the evening included:

  • 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. Presented by The High Sheriff for Cambridgeshire, Dr Nigel Brown OBE. Recipients received a medal and certificate.
  • Long Service Awards - For members of support staff who have completed at least 20 years of service. Recipients received £100 in vouchers of their choice.
  • Chairman's Awards - An award made to retired personnel who have completed at least 25 years' service with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service. Presented by Cllr Roy Pegram, Chairman of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority. Recipients received an engraved cut glass rose bowl or decanter.
  • Excellence Awards - These are 11 awards that reflect a variety of different achievements made both within and outside the Service. Winners of the Excellence Awards were nominated by others in the Service. Recipients received a flame-shaped award and certificate.
  • Certificates of Commendation - A formal recognition to an external stakeholder - such as a business or member of the community - that has demonstrated excellent support to the Service. Recipients received a certificate signed by the Chief Fire Officer.

At the ceremony, Chief Fire Officer Graham Stagg said: " This is the second year we have held an awards evening of this kind, to present the traditional long service awards as well as the new Excellence Awards, which recognise the achievements of our own staff and others outside of the Service who support our work.

"Tonight is all about recognising and celebrating the commitment, dedication and professionalism of those who go above and beyond to improve the level of service that we provide to the community. Without them, this Service would not be the organisation that it is today.

"The quality of achievements is highly impressive and every single winner and nominee should be extremely proud."


The evening ended with a prize draw. Hosts for the event, The Marriott Hotel donated a one night stay for two people at the Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club. The winner was picked out of a hat - which was in fact the Chief Fire Officer's fire helmet.

The Peterborough Greyhound Stadium also donated a prize. As a way of saying thank you to the Service for saving a large part of the stadium during a fire in early March 1999, the winners of the Operational Excellence Award have been invited to use the corporate box at the stadium for the one evening.

Breakdown of award winners and districts:

Long Service and Good Conduct medal

  • Robert Allwood - Firefighter at Huntingdon Fire Station
  • Martin Brown - Station Manager, Fire Protection, Fire HQ, Huntingdon 
  • Sean Brown - District Manager for Peterborough District 
  • Roger Byatt - Firefighter at March Fire Station 
  • Nick Foster - Head of Training and Development, Fire HQ, Huntingdon 
  • Philip Hill - Operation Support Group, Fire HQ, Huntingdon 
  • Karl Jarvis - Firefighter at Cambridge Fire Station 
  • Kim Johnson - Firefighter at St Neots Fire Station 
  • Matthew Murdoch - Station Manager for Ely Fire Station 
  • Tony Raine - Watch Manager at March Fire Station 
  • Trevor White - Crew Manager at Kimbolton Fire Station

Long Service Award (for support staff)

  • Danny Rust - Group Manager, Estates and Property, Fire HQ, Huntingdon

Chairman's Awards

  •  Paul Martindale - Retired (former Watch Manager for Ely) 
  • Brenda White - Retired (formerly Crew Manager in Fire Control, Fire HQ, Huntingdon)

Excellence Awards

Excellence in Community Safety Award - Steve Robinson, Fire Protection Manager for Fenland and Peterborough for his work reducing prison fires across the county. Steve used prison intelligence and best practice from other fire services to put new procedures in place at Whitemoor, Littlehey and Peterborough prisons. This has led to an 80 per cent reduction in cell fires. Steve was also commended for his commitment to community safety in Wisbech over recent weeks.

Operational Excellence Award - Sponsored by Peterborough Greyhound Stadium - Wisbech retained and day crews for their response to a challenging road traffic collision near Wisbech in April 2009, which involved two complex rescues. From the beginning and throughout the lengthy incident, crews demonstrated excellent decision making and worked hard in uncomfortable situations to achieve a successful outcome.

Award for Innovation - Green Watch at Huntingdon for devising and testing a new method of supplying water where it is not readily available. The new method creates a join between two hoses, which extends the overall hose length and allows access to water supplies which would normally be too far away from the incident for crews to access. This means crews do not need additional fire engines to carry water and keeps more fire engines available for other incidents.

Leadership Achievement Award - Gary Mitchley, Training Centre Manager for his commitment to excellence and staff welfare. Since taking on the role last year, Gary's motivation and determination has inspired the Training Centre team to maximise their delivery while maintaining the highest of standards. Although he is driven and focused, Gary is always willing to listen to his staff and involve them in decisions to engage the team and drive them towards excellence.

Team Achievement Awards -

1) Ely day crew for its management of the Littleport tyre fire in autumn 2009. The incident was one of the largest, longest and most challenging fires the county has ever attended. Despite spending up to eight hours a day in arduous conditions, crews remained flexible and positive and provided support to other agencies and concerned residents at all times. Their commitment and positive spirit were fundamental in controlling and extinguishing the fire.

2) Gamlingay Fire Station for maintaining 100% availability and demonstrating commitment to the retained duty system. Despite only having 10 retained firefighters at the station, the pump at Gamlingay has maintained 100 per cent availability since September 2009. This is due to the commitment that the whole station displays to the retained duty system, which is ultimately a commitment to the safety of those within the local community.

Individual Achievement Award - Tom Quinn-Nicholls, Firefighter at Ely for consistently high commitment and achievement throughout the year. Tom has not only championed a variety of different projects and initiatives across the district and beyond, he has also volunteered for a host of additional responsibilities, such as taking part in the BA set training and assessments, becoming the district¿s working at height representative and maintaining relationships with staff and partners.

Valuing Equality and Diversity Award - Green Watch at Dogsthorpe for its work with young ethnic minority groups in the Central Ward in Peterborough. The watch used links with partner agencies to host a series of team building days aimed at engaging with Asian youths who are not in work, education or training. The events enabled the youths to interact with the firefighters to create an atmosphere of welcome and respect, by showing them what career options are available to them and building their confidence.

Partnership Achievement Award - The Wasted project, comprising Community Safety Officer Mark Taylor, Youth Locality Worker Julie Bristowe and the JUNK theatre group. The Wasted project is aimed at highlighting the consequences of alcohol and drug abuse to Year 10 and 11 pupils at secondary schools in South Cambs. It is centred around a film about a group of young people, which raises awareness about the health and other implications of alcohol and drug abuse, with the overall aim of improving community safety using effective partnership working.

Retained Employer of the Year Award - Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for its consistent support and contributions to the maintenance of fire cover in Papworth and the surrounding areas. The hospital trust employs six out of 10 of the station's retained duty firefighters, which allows consistently over 90 per cent availability. The Trust's flexibility and understanding of the vital role which retained firefighters provide is fundamental in the delivery of retained response at Papworth.

Fundraiser of the Year - Cottenham Fire Station for raising £550 for The Fire Fighters Charity despite battling throughout the night with 13 other crews to fight two large fires near Cambridge Train Station. The crew did not return home until gone 8am, which left them less than an hour until their charity car wash. Determined not to disappoint the local community, the crew proceeded with the car wash and raised cash for charity as well as giving advice to keep residents safe on the county's roads.

Certificates of Commendation -  

1) Cliff Austine, Medical Technician from East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust for assisting the Service with community safety work. For the last three years, Cliff has supported the Service's Safety Zone initiatives, unpaid and in his own time. His sensitive delivery of the stark consequences of anti-social behaviour brings an additional dimension to the delivery of the initiatives and engages even the most challenging of students.

2) Farmer Richard Blackhurst from Wistow in Huntingdonshire for designing a device to help firefighters gain access to water supplies on farms. On realising that most farms have large tanks of water on site which are not readily accessible to fire crews, Richard designed and manufactured a connector to allow fire service standard couplings to link industry spray connectors.

3) PC Mark Hills from Cambridgeshire Constabulary for assisting the Service in identifying, trialling and procuring a new door entry system. Mark advised the Service on which equipment could meet requirements and provided full access to the police door entry training rig. After trialling and procuring a new system, Mark has assisted the Service in the delivery of training centrally and has committed to providing further training to crews later in the year.

4) Kimbolton School for assisting the Service in community safety, training and recruitment. As well as employing four retained firefighters, Kimbolton School has recently assisted in a case study to promote the benefits of releasing staff as retained firefighters to potential employers. It has also offered its historic buildings to be used in training exercises as well as other community safety initiatives.

5) Beth Moore, a graphic design student from Wisbech and daughter of Wisbech Firefighter Adrian Moore. Beth has used her design skills to help the Service in a number of profile raising projects. This year she was asked to be involved in the Kids are Alright project, a multi-agency campaign aimed at busting youth stereotypes. One of the aims of the project was to involve youngsters in designing a poster or logo for the campaign. Beth took up the challenge and came up with a collection of inspiring designs and strap lines, which are now being used in other campaigns across the UK.

View photographs from the event