On Saturday, 2 October, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) held an event to celebrate the outstanding achievements of staff and volunteers in responding during a challenging 18 months.
The event recognised the work of those that have taken on additional responsibilities during the pandemic, and included a Graduation Ceremony to formally welcome a number of firefighters that completed their training at the start of 2020 and went straight to work, serving their local communities on fire stations. Staff that have received their Long Service Award and Long Service and Good Conduct Medals, the 2020 Virtual Awards Ceremony winners and Fire Cadets who were unable to attend a Graduation Ceremony that took place in July, were also recognised.
The event took place in the grounds of Welford Park, near Newbury, after Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire, Mr James Puxley, generously offered to host the event at his family home.
Councillor Colin Dudley, Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, said: “I am delighted that today, at long last, we have the opportunity to thank everyone in person that has worked tirelessly over the last 18 months and celebrate all of their achievements.
“I was also proud to extend a warm welcome to the group of wholetime firefighters who have been serving our communities, since they graduated in March 2020. They are part of a supportive team of highly skilled colleagues and together I am sure they will continue to maintain the excellent standards of service we are providing to residents of Royal Berkshire.”
This event was made possible thanks to the generous donations of sponsors, including Bristol Uniforms, Close Brothers, Corrigenda, The David Brownlow Charitable Foundation, Fireblitz, Five Bells, Geargrid, Health Partners UK, Infographics, Integrated Water Services, M&A Coachworks, M&B Electrical and SFJ Awards.
Wayne Bowcock, Chief Fire Officer, said: “During the past 18 months, our teams of staff and volunteers have worked together with exceptional professionalism, and adapted superbly to continue to perform their roles, whether that has been continuing to work under restrictions at a fire station, providing additional health, safety and wellbeing support or communicating with our communities, for example. Therefore, it was really important for us to take a moment to recognise and celebrate these contributions.
“We really appreciate all the support we have received from our sponsors, who made this event possible and in particular I would like to say a special thank you to Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire, Mr James Puxley for generously hosting our event.”
During the day, a raffle was also held to raise money for The Fire Fighters Charity. Thanks to the kind donations of local businesses, a total of £347 was raised for this worthy cause.
To find out more about our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our website.
A selection of photos can be viewed on our Facebook page.