Firefighters recognised for their commitment to the job at awards ceremony

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue service awards 2014.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue service awards 2014.

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Awards have been presented at a special fire and rescue evening to honour the commitment, professionalism and bravery of firefighters and members of the public who step up to lend a hand in an emergency.

The ceremony, held at Bedford School, celebrated the achievements of members of Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue service awards 2014.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue service awards 2014.

Four firefighters and one control operator were awarded the prestigious Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct medal, which is issued under Royal Warrant, to operational personnel with 20 years exemplary service.

Medals were presented by Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis to Potton firefighters Andrew Booth, Gary Walker and crew commander Neville Mooney, along with Kempston crew commander Mark Woodworth and watch commander Sue Beck.

Councillor Colleen Atkins presented the Fire and Rescue Authority 25 year Long Service Award to Kempston firefighter Chris Richards.

Chief fire officer Paul Fuller also presented Certificates of Commendation to firefighters for helping to rescue people whose lives were in danger.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue service awards 2014.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue service awards 2014.

Mark Woodworth was honoured for ‘outstanding professionalism’ in rescuing someone from the River Great Ouse on December 27, 2013.

While Bedford crew commander Matthew Blanchard and firefighter Duncan Muirhead were recognised for their ‘extremely brave and selfless act’ in rescuing someone from the river on January 8 this year.

Mr Fuller said: “Each of these cases deserve to be publicly acknowledged as the individuals involved acted very bravely.”

The event also provided an opportunity for the service to acknowledge the efforts of colleagues in helping to raise funds for the Firefighters Charity. Potton Community Fire Station was presented with the Champion Fundraisers Trophy, and Group Commander Andy Peckham received the Endeavour Award.

Mr Fuller said: “Events such as this serve as a great opportunity to justifiably celebrate the successes of our staff. It is great to be able to honour their personal achievement, fundraising activities, or long and distinguished service to the local community. It also gives us a chance to thank their families, whose own contribution is invaluable.”