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Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service recognises outstanding public service

On Tuesday, 1 November 2022, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) Annual Awards ceremony took place at the Coppid Beech Hotel in Bracknell, and those who have gone above and beyond to deliver outstanding service in the last 12 months were recognised.

The original event was due to take place on 10 September at Welford Park. However, this was postponed due to the sad passing of Her Late Majesty the Queen.

The evening started with awards being presented by Chair of the Fire Authority, Councillor Paul Gittings, including Excellence in Community Safety; Volunteer of the Year; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Champion and Excellence in Leadership.

Chief Fire Officer Wayne Bowcock presented awards, including Support Department of the Year; Fire Station of the Year; Certificates of Commendation; Employee of the Year and Emergency Responder of the Year.

Fire Station of the Year was awarded to Crowthorne Fire Station, which was recognised for providing an excellent service to the community of Crowthorne. The station delivers a high number of Safe and Well Visits, school visits and other targeted prevention campaigns and community events.

Deputy Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire, Mr Willie Hartley Russell joined the ceremony and presented awards for Fundraiser of the Year; Certificates of Merit; Outstanding Team Achievement and the Long Service Award and Long Service and Good Conduct Medals.

Volunteer of the Year was awarded to the drivers and technicians of the Ukraine convoys, for the sterling co-ordination efforts and teamwork to deliver equipment and four vehicles from our Headquarters to Poland, before the equipment was transferred to Ukrainian firefighters.

The Service’s volunteers were part of a larger life-saving collaboration in which UK fire and rescue services donated a total of 60 vehicles and more than 5,000 items of fire and rescue equipment to the Ukrainian fire and rescue service.

Finally, the Shane Burton Award for a career devoted to public service was presented by Chief Fire Officer Wayne Bowcock to Chris Holland, East Hub Manager, who was also awarded a 30-year Long Service and Good Conduct medal.

A 20-year Long Service award recipient received an award on the evening, and several Long Service and good conduct medals were awarded for 20 years’ service in an operational role. This year, three recipients for 30 years’ service were also recognised, and each was presented with a clasp which will be worn on the ribbon of their existing 20-year medal.

Councillor Paul Gittings, Chair of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority said: “It was such an honour to recognise some of our amazing members of staff, partners and members of the public for their outstanding contribution and dedication to the service, and acts of courage over the past year.

“We also celebrated some of our Long Service Award and Long Service and Good Conduct Medal recipients, who have now completed 20 or 30 years of public service.

“I would like to thank Mr Willie Hartley Russell, Deputy Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire for attending this year’s ceremony.

“Finally, I would like to thank all of our sponsors. Their support is greatly appreciated and thanks to their generosity, we are able to hold events such as this.”

Chief Fire Officer Wayne Bowcock said: “I am delighted the Awards Ceremony was able to be rescheduled, and what a great evening it was. For me personally, it’s really important to be able to celebrate the achievements of all of our staff and recognise the hard work and dedication particularly of those who received awards this year.

“I am extremely proud of our Service and the way we serve the communities of Royal Berkshire.”

This event was made possible thanks to the generous donations of sponsors, including Barnett Waddingham, Corrigenda Facilities Services, Firehawk Safety Products, Infographics Firewatch, Investec, Kensington and M&A Coachworks.