Numerous firefighters from Rugby were recognised for their hard work and dedication at the fire service's Long Service Awards ceremony last night (Thursday, July 13).
Denise Brewer, from Rugby Fire Station, was presented with the Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire Timothy Cox.
And the whole station was given a Community Achievement Award for its proactive community safety initiatives, in particular raising awareness for water-related incidents and irresponsible parking.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer Andy Hickmott said: "It was an honour to recognise those staff that have completed 20 years’ meritorious service or have gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep their communities safe.
"As always, the ceremony provided me with a great opportunity to personally thank officers for their commitment and dedication to the service and to the communities they serve.”
Denise's award was after completing 20 years with the fire service, demonstrating her good conduct, loyalty and devotion to duty.
Steve Rule, Richard Healy, Roland Bayley and Adrain Ayden-Wood from Rugby Fire Station collected the award, presented by the High Sheriff of Warwickshire, Mark Davies.
Their work on drowning prevention was featured on BBC Midlands Today and the crews went on to produce a number of informative videos in their own time to help raise awareness of the dangers of swimming in open water.
These films were shown on our social media sites and have been viewed and shared many times.
Their initiative ultimately resulted in the service making contact with the Royal Life Saving Society and we are now working with them to create a Water Safety Partnership for Warwickshire.
Their second initiative was to tackle an issue our firefighters have increasingly been faced with over the years, the problem of inappropriately parked vehicles when responding to emergency incidents.
Blue Watch took the initiative to come up with a solution and worked with the county council's community safety and communications teams to create a new approach to raising awareness through the development and launch of the ‘Park it Right’ campaign.
Warwickshire County Council chairman Cllr Clive Rickhards said: “I would like to personally congratulate all those who received awards at the ceremony from operational firefighters, to PCSO’s to our support staff.
"What brings all of these people together is their drive to make a real difference to the communities of Warwickshire.
"The stories I heard last night of officers going the extra mile to reduce arson, increase the health and well-being of our young people and of firefighters being on the front line, risking their lives to save others, was a truly humbling experience.
"It was a pleasure to be part of the event."