Annual awards recognise dozens of outstanding contributions to Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service
Achievements including saving a village from the clutches of wildfire, helping transport a horse mannequin called Brandy, and restoring a fire station flower garden, all received recognition at the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service Annual Staff Awards.
The ceremony recognised the efforts of fire fighters, fire staff, their friends and families and community partners and volunteers, showing how everyone has a unique part to play in to make in making the service great.
Chief Fire Officer, Ceri Sumner said: "These awards showed what a great group of talented people we have in our service and how proud we are of what we do to serve our communities. Even on the toughest days, our teams rise to the challenge."
Norfolk County Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships Cllr Margaret Dewsbury said: "These awards were a fantastic opportunity to recognise the contribution of our county's fire fighters and fire staff and the partners who work with them and pay tribute to the family and friends who support them."
Tom de Winton, of Brancaster Parish Council, one of the sponsors of the evening, issued a thanks at the beginning of the ceremony. He said: "During a catastrophic fire in Brancaster Staithe last summer we lost five houses and a further 22 homes and part of our marsh were affected - the entire village could have been lost.
"Our sponsorship of these awards is our way of saying thank you for saving our village - without you it wouldn't be there."
Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk Michael Harrowven JP, Chairman of Norfolk County Council Cllr Barry Stone, Cllr Margaret Dewsbury presented 17 fire fighters and fire staff with long and outstanding service medals for 20, 30, 35 and 40 years' service, with one individual receiving a certificate for 50 years service.
A stalwart at Attleborough Fire Station, Roy Woods joined the service in 1970 progressing to crew manager. He retired from operational service in 2000 but continued to be dedicated to the village fire station becoming caretaker there and continuing to be an integral part of the crew to the present day.
Howden's Joinery and family-run Landscaping and Garden Design business MN Landscapes were both recognised as On-Call Employers of the Year for supporting their staff to be on-call fire fighters enabling them to serve their local communities.
The partnership award was given to Hapton-based charity Redwings Horse Sanctuary for its outstanding support over the last six years in providing hands-on animal rescue training and real world facilities for practising animal rescue techniques. It has also donated microchip scanners and a trailer to allow the service to transport its mechanical horse mannequin Brandy around the country for further training.
Dylan Steggles received the Young Volunteer award for his commitment to restoring the flower garden outside Hingham Fire Station; weeding and replanting, and cutting the grass in his own time and using his own money to purchase plans to mark His Majesty The King's coronation.
A total of 16 awards were given in nine categories: Cadet of the Year - Charlie Mirfin of Hunstanton Fire Cadets; On-Call Employers of the Year - Howdens and MN Landscapes; Fundraiser of the Year - Wymondham Watch Manager Tom Diaper; Volunteer of the Year - Dylan Steggles of Hingham; Making a Difference Award - Watch Manager Michelle Lowe, Chris Baker, Let's Talk Mental Health team, and Blue Watch King's Lynn; Partnership Award - Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Inspirational Leader Award - Western Group Manager David Copeland and Prevention Manager Llio Wyn Knight-Griffith; New Employees of the Year Award - Lucy Goldsmith and Jessica Graves; and Team Achievement Award - Crucial Crew and Payroll team.
For more on the individual stories of these awards, which were sponsored by Norfolk Safety CIC and Brancaster Parish Council, visit our Facebook page.