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Service celebrates staff excellence at awards event

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

Taking place at the Huntingdon Marriott Hotel on Thursday (September 23), the event celebrated the achievements of staff from across different areas of the Service, highlighting outstanding accomplishments during the coronavirus pandemic. The commitment, dedication and professionalism of staff regularly going above and beyond to provide the best possible service to the people of Cambridgeshire were all celebrated by around 100 guests.

Hosting the event was Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland together with Assistant Chief Fire Officer Jon Anderson, with Deputy Chief Executive Matthew Warren and Head of Media and Communication Hayley Douglas, leading the ceremony.

The following awards were presented throughout the evening:

  • Long Service and Good Conduct medal - 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 Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Mrs Julie Spence OBE QPM.
  • Long Service award for support staff – presented by the chief fire officer to support staff for 20 years of service.
  • Long Service presentations – staff celebrated for reaching milestones of service, presented by the chief fire officer.
  • Fire Authority Chair’s awards - an award made to retired staff that have completed at least 25 years' service with CFRS. Presented by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority Vice Chair, Councillor Mohammed Jamil.
  • 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's Commendation - to recognise the commendable actions of a member of staff or the public.

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 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.

  • Vinnie Crook – Station Commander, Training Centre, Huntingdon
  • Daniel Heathcote – Watch Commander, Huntingdon
  • Sean Hedger - Station Commander, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough
  • Gareth Horrocks – Crew Commander, Thorney
  • John Tyrrell – Watch Commander, Fire Protection, Cambridge

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

  • Hayley Douglas – Head of Media and Communication, SHQ, Huntingdon
  • Kevin James – Community Safety Officer, SHQ, Huntingdon

Long Service presentation

  • John Barlow – 40 years’ service in operational and support roles

Chairman's Award
Presented to staff that have recently retired having completed at least 25 years' service.

  • Rob Allport – Watch Commander, Stanground, Peterborough
  • Sean Dunthorne – Firefighter, Whittlesey
  • Martin Gridley – Finance Manager, SHQ, Huntingdon

Excellence Awards

COVID-19 Resources Cell
The team, involving Stuart Smith, Steve Beaton, Jamie Johnson, Tracey Stradling, Jenni Illingworth and Charlotte Lock worked around the clock to ensure the Service was able to maintain and deliver its functions during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Secure Workplace implementation
The Health and Safety team and Tamsin Mirfin were nominated for taking the government’s guidance and devising and implementing the policies and procedures to ensure all CFRS premises were safe and covid secure.

ICT Shared Service team
Nominated for the exceptional support that all areas of the team have provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Media and Communication team
The team was nominated for the exemplary support from the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, while still providing incredible day-to-day support for teams across the Service.

Operational Support Group and Commercial team
Nominated for the outstanding efforts shown in sourcing additional PPE following the coronavirus outbreak.

Driver Training team
Nominated for the outstanding efforts showed during the initial stages of the pandemic by providing new ambulance staff with blue light training.

Recruitment team
Nominated for their outstanding response to the pandemic, including completely changing and delivering the promotion process.

Training Centre team
Nominated for the dedicated and professional response to the coronavirus pandemic, consistently delivering above and beyond expectations.

ICCS and mobilising system procurement and first stage implementation
There were several nominations for the purchasing and initial first stage work completed for the project, involving a significant procurement process and equipment installation.

Huntingdon Fire Station White Watch
The crew was nominated for the excellent initial actions taken during a road traffic collision involving many casualties in a minibus in November 2019.

Paul Oliver
Nominated for stepping up exceptionally to the group commander managerial role following Karl Bowden’s departure.

Stocker Standen and Adam King
Nominated for their work for the working at height project.

Littleport Fire Station
Nominated for the impressive fundraising efforts over many years, in particular the annual bingo events.

Chief Fire Officer's Commendation – Myles Strickland
For lifesaving actions assisting a casualty that collapsed while off duty at a local gym.