On Saturday, 9 September 2023, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) Annual Awards ceremony took place at Welford Park, near Newbury.
The event provided the opportunity to recognise the efforts and achievements of staff, volunteers and partners over the past 12 months.
During the event, staff that have dedicated 20, or 30, years to public service were presented with Long Service and Good Conduct Medals or Long Service Awards by The Lord Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire, Mr James Puxley.
This event was made possible thanks to the generous donations of the sponsors: AVE Services, Corrigenda, Fireblitz, Hub Telecoms, Kensington Mortgages and Say So.
Councillor Jeff Brooks, Chair of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority said: “It was such an honour to be here today to recognise some of our amazing members of staff, and partners for the incredible contribution, dedication and acts of courage that we have seen in the past year.
“How fitting that the event shared the date with Emergency Services Day – I can’t think of a better opportunity to honour the contributions of so many dedicated public servants and to say thank you.”
A number of awards were presented during the event. Some of the highlights include:
Certificates of Commendation were presented to those that responded to the tragic fire on Erleigh Road, Reading, as well as staff from Thames Valley Fire Control Service who worked under extreme pressure during last year’s heatwave.
RBFRS’ Duty Officers received the Team of the Year Award for their high performance despite the pressures they faced in 2022/23 and in recognition of the work that they do, every day, to keep the community safe.
Central Hub Teams and South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell received the Innovation of the Year Award for an exciting art project to promote water safety on Berkshire’s waterways.
The Fundraiser of the Year Award was won by the Wholetime Firefighter Apprentices, who raised more than £14,800 for the Fire Fighters Charity during a charity bike ride. They cycled the equivalent of 500 miles in remembrance of firefighter Barry Martin, who sadly lost his life in the line of duty in January 2023 and to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III.
Wayne Bowcock, Chief Fire Officer said: “It’s really important to me personally to be able to celebrate the achievements of all of our staff, and recognise the particularly important work of those who received awards this year.”
“We really appreciate the support we have received from our sponsors, whose generosity enables us to hold events like this. I would also like to thank the Lord Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire Mr James Puxley and his wife Deborah, who have hosted us here today at their beautiful home, Welford Park. It was a wonderful occasion.”
“I am extremely proud of our Service and the way we serve the communities of Royal Berkshire.”