West Norfok fire service personnel honoured

Glen Gates with the Outwell crew
Glen Gates with the Outwell crew

Firefighters from West Norfolk were among those recognised for their dedication at a ceremony held at County Hall in Norwich.

The Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service’s unsung heroes were honoured for long service, good conduct and making a difference, as well as recognition for contributions to the Fire Fighters’ Charity, Youth Development and Cadet of the Year.

Downham Market fire crew

Downham Market fire crew

Among those honoured were the Downham Market crew, who were commended for maintaining fire cover for the town from a temporary base for nearly three years while a new fire station was built.

Shane Anderson, of Methwold, was given a long service and good conduct medal.

Glen Gates and the Outwell crew were given a Certificate of Commendation.

And the youth development leader plaudit went to Martin Tease, from Lynn station.

Martin Tease with CFO Ashworth

Martin Tease with CFO Ashworth

As well as commending staff who go the extra mile, Norfolk’s chief fire officer David Ashworth paid tribute to the commitment of all his teams last night (Thursday).

Chief Fire Officer David Ashworth praised the work of his community safety team to reassure the Norfolk public following the Grenfell Tower blaze, thanked his service for their round-the-clock efforts during the recent bad weather and praised crews for their support in responding to medical emergencies.

Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk Sir Richard Jewson, said: “We are living in a time when our public finances are under great stress. I’m so inspired by how you develop services in changing times and we continue to look to you in an emergency with confidence.”

Mr Ashworth said: “Operationally we have had a number of challenging incidents and periods of challenging weather. On each and every occasion our staff have risen to the challenge and delivered consistent successful outcomes. All of NFRS staff contribute to making this happen effectively and safely.

Noroflk County Council chairman John Ward (centre) with Norfolk Fire and Rescue SErvice personnel

Noroflk County Council chairman John Ward (centre) with Norfolk Fire and Rescue SErvice personnel

“I must also thank the employers of retained firefighters whom without their ongoing support would not allow NFRS to operate as effectively as it does.

“To deliver all NFRS functions we need to have staff available, equipped and trained. We have had a high number of retirements since this time last year. We have recruited into our wholetime watches and focused a lot of time and effort into our on-call recruitment and retention.

“The Grenfell tragedy triggered a significant workload for our community fire protection team. This was a shining example of excellent collaboration with Norfolk County Council departments and other agencies. More than 150 dwellings were visited, assessed and reassurance provided.

“Fantastic work was undertaken with emergency medical response where we demonstrated what we can do to support other emergency services and our wider communities.

“Our youth development work continues to develop and our volunteer cadre continue to grow.

“This is just a taste of what NFRS has delivered in the past 12 months. You should be incredibly proud of what you’ve all achieved and I am eternally grateful for all the effort you all put in.

“The next 12 months will be exciting and challenging and I look forward to working with you all as our service continues to build on the good work already underway and rises to the future challenges that come our way.”