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Service celebrates excellence at annual staff awards

Exemplary service and excellent work were celebrated as Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service held their annual Excellence Awards.

The ceremony, held at the Delta Hotel by Marriott in Huntingdon on Thursday (January 25), recognised the outstanding accomplishments of employees throughout the year, along with celebrating the tremendous commitment and dedication of those serving for 20 years or more.

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 in front of around 160 guests.

The following awards were presented throughout the evening:

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 the Lord Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire, Mrs Julie Spence.

Long Service presentations – colleagues were celebrated for reaching 20, 30 and 40 year milestones of service, presented by the Lord Lieutenant Mrs Julie Spence.

Fire Authority Chair’s awards - an award made to retired employees and leavers that have completed at least 25 years' service.

Excellence Awards – these are CFRS internal awards that reflect a variety of different achievements that were nominated by colleagues and chosen by a judging panel.

Silver Axe presentation – for each new recruits course, one member is chosen by the training team to win the silver axe. It is awarded to a recruit who demonstrates high levels of skill and leadership or for their personal journey.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland said: “Our annual awards event is always one of my yearly highlights, as it gives us the opportunity to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our staff.

“It gives me immense pride to be able to recognise the achievements of so many members of our employees 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 truly inspiring. It also gives us the chance to acknowledge the support provided by their families too, something we equally value and appreciate.

“Being able to celebrate our employees’ 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 contributed to the evening.”

The cost for the event was paid for by the generosity of the following organisations: TruckEast, Scania, Emergency One, Supply Plus, SCC, Crofton Engineering, MSA, Godiva, Interspiro and Terberg.

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.

Group Commander Neville Burgess – Head of On-call

Crew Commander Andrew Boughen – Littleport Fire Station

Watch Commander Gary Doughty – Fire Protection

Crew Commander Graham Duff – Yaxley Fire Station

Watch Commander Dave Frickleton – Stanground Fire Station

Crew Commander Billy May – Stanground Fire Station

Crew Commander Charlotte Pattle – Combined Fire Control

Area Commander Stuart Smith – Head of Operational Response

Long Service presentation

20 years’ service:

Nicola Elliott – Training Centre Coordinator, Huntingdon

Kevin Partridge - Training Centre Support Technician, Huntingdon

30 years’ service:

Andy Ellington – Cambridge Fire Station

Robin Hodgson – St Neots Fire Station

Scott Newbon – Wisbech Fire Station

40 years’ service:

Clive Allen – On-call support officer

Alan Baker – Linton Fire Station

Russell Gooderham – Kimbolton Fire Station

Fire Authority Chair's Award

Presented to staff that have recently retired or left the Service having completed at least 25 years' service.

Alan Baker – Linton Fire Station

Ian Barlow – Combined Fire Control

Andrew Davis – Gamlingay Fire Station

Tony De Matteis – Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade

Martin Harriss – Whittlesey Fire Station

Howard Newton – Community Fire Safety

Quinton Roach – Operational Support Group

Andy Titmuss – Wisbech Fire Station

Excellence Award Winners

Huntingdon Fire Station and Training Centre relocation team - Jodie Houseago, Roger Wood, Simon Thompson and Stocker Standen. The team were nominated for their outstanding commitment to the Huntingdon Relocation Project.

The STEM School Challenge team - Rudy Boddington, Kevin Duke and Caz Lee. The STEM team were nominated for going above and beyond volunteering to organise a very successful 2023 STEM School Challenge, on top of their day jobs.

Tirzah Warton - Combined Fire Control. Tirzah was recognised for the exceptional way she dealt with an extremely challenging 999 call from someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

Laura Hutchcraft - People Manager. For Laura’s exceptional response and hard work, following a short notice legal matter.

James Pearce - Cambridge Fire Station. For the incredible amount of work James took on to update the Site Specific Risk Information (SSRI) for a complex site in Cambridge, going above and beyond his role.

Chris Harrold - March Fire Station. Chris was nominated for his excellent response to an incident which raised safeguarding concerns about a child.

Josh Tandy - Yaxley Fire Station. Josh was nominated for his commitment and hard work in relation to fundraising for Yaxley Fire Station, in particular, organising the station’s open day last year – the first one to be held in many years – and ensuring it was a success despite challenging personal events the day before.

Ursula Bird – Head of Finance. Ursula was nominated for continually performing over and above expectations and for always looking to help and develop others. Since joining two years ago, she has rebuilt financial planning processes to an exceptional level and took on the implementation of a new finance system, saving the Service money.

Graham George (Huntingdon Fire Station) and Claire Durrant (Combined Fire Control). When an opportunity arose to review our post incident trauma care provision for colleagues, Graham and Claire took it on and became a great team, reviewing, researching and recommending a new way to provide mental health trauma care to operational colleagues. They have gone above and beyond what was expected and carried out this work on top of their day jobs.

Stanground Blue Watch. Blue Watch Stanground were nominated for their excellent response, quick thinking and demonstration of high levels of skill in relation to an incident where they rescued a member of the public who had become stuck in a tree suspended by a parachute, ensuring their safe return to ground.

County Risk Analysis Group (CRAG) Project team - Matt Rees, James Ball, Tony Burton, Jeff Whitlam. The CRAG project team were nominated for the creation and implementation of the new reporting of risk process, that since launching has been well used by colleagues and includes an ability to report safeguarding issues.

Community Safety Officers Lily Wilkanowski, Jill Gibbs, Mark Taylor, Claire Atherton and Belinda Ashdown. Following a truly tragic incident in Cambridge, the community safety officer team came together to support the local area and provided unwavering support to concerned and grieving families and children.

Dogsthorpe and Stanground Red Watch. The crews were nominated as a group for their excellent response and demonstration of high levels of competence in relation to a house fire in Peterborough that involved rescuing casualties from inside and administering CPR.

Linton Fire Station. The Linton crew were nominated for their outstanding commitment to community engagement and significant effort to support recruitment of on-call firefighters at their station. Crew Commander Jack Anderson was recognised individually for driving the station’s Facebook account, planning and posting content to keep the local community engaged.

Combined Fire Control. Combined Fire Control colleagues were recognised for their excellent performance, outstanding commitment, and demonstration of high levels of competence following their response to Storm Babet, which hit Suffolk hard and led to a record number of 999 calls coming into fire control.

Matt Rossi - ICT Shared Service. Matt was nominated for his outstanding assistance to Combined Fire Control, consistently going above and beyond and working outside of his remit to support the team.

Kevin Duke - Community Safety. When Kevin’s colleague didn’t turn up to work one day, he was immediately concerned and quick to check on their welfare. In doing so, he potentially saved their life as they needed an ambulance and had been unable to call for help themselves. He supported his colleague throughout their care that day and since.

External recognition

Mikie Burrell – Apprentice of the Year award from Cambridgeshire County Council. Mikie was recognised again for his success in Cambridgeshire County Council’s Apprentice of the Year Award.

Silver Axe presentation

On-call firefighters Aaron Butler from Ely Fire Station and Ross Clarke from Sawtry Fire Station were presented with their silver axe awards for being the stand out recruits during their initial training courses.


Award winners at ceremony