THEY’ve saved hundreds of lives by putting their own in danger...and probably rescued far too many cats.
But courageous firefighters from across the region were all smiles when recognised for years of dedication with service comrades.
Hathersage dad-of-three Simon Wilson, now white watch crew manager at Chesterfield fire station, was delighted to be honoured with a 20-year Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct medal in the special ceremony.
Speaking about the job’s roles, he said: “When you turn up at anything like a house fire, and see someone near their last gasp of breath, but then you manage to rescue them and they come back months later to thank you it is so rewarding, brilliant.
“It’s the best job, helping people, and every day is different. There are also some strange situations people get into, like getting their handcuffs stuck or trapped in a bike chain, and you think ‘I never expected to be doing this at 6.30am’.’”
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service’s annual awards were held last Thursday in Derby. In total 18 staff received the two-decade service medals, and two were given a 30-year long service gift.
The Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, William Tucker, presented medals to the first group and Cllr David Wilson, chairman of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Authority, handed gifts to the second.
Fire chiefs praised guests for their “tremendous achievements” in preventing tragedy and loyally serving the public as a team, in many demanding ways.
“I am extremely proud of you all and proud to be here with you,” said chief fire officer Sean Frayne, also chief executive.
“You have the best job in the world and work for the best service in the country.
“You show great discipline and courage putting yourselves in personal danger, you are a great example for others to follow, thank you for your many years of service to the community. I must also pay tribute to your families for their continuous support. Without that support it would be impossible for our employees to do their job.”
The Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal expresses the gratitude of both the fire and rescue service as well as the public for recipients’ honourable service and devotion to duty.
l Do you know a hero you’d like to thank? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.