Herefordshire Medals and Awards Ceremony
During the evening, medals and awards were presented by Lady Susan Darnley, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire, Lt. Colonel Charles Thwaites MBE, the High Sheriff of Herefordshire and also by Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates and Councillor Derek W Prodger MBE, Chairman of Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority. Station Commander Neil Pigott acted as Master of Ceremonies.
Long Service Good Conduct Medals for 20 years service were the first of the evening to be awarded by Lady Susan Darnley, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire. Elliot Hobbs, son of the late Watch Commander Chris Hobbs from Hereford, received the award on behalf of his father, while Firefighter Shane Jones from Hereford was also presented with his award.
Long Service Awards for 30 years’ service with HWFRS were then presented by Councillor Derek W Prodger MBE, Chairman of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority to two Watch Commanders. Anthony Limb from Fownhope and Watch Commander David Vickress based at Leintwardine.
The Chairman’s Certificate of Commendation was due to be presented to 13-year-old Adam Criddle but he and his family were unable to attend the ceremony. Adam was chosen to receive the award after making a significant contribution to community safety at his home on 11 July 2012.
Two recipients were chosen to receive this year’s High Sheriff’s Community Safety Volunteer of the Year Award. These were Community Safety Volunteers Ian Baker and Stanley Rowe, both based in Herefordshire. Both have supported the Service in a wide range of initiatives, including attendance at public community safety events and generating Home Fire Safety Check referrals.
The Chief Fire Officer’s Certificate of Commendation was also awarded to two recipients this year. Chris Capper from Hereford was presented his award for performing an outstanding act of individual endeavour which helped to save or protect life at a flat fire in Hereford in March. Paul Cunningham was due to receive the award for his part in the same incident but was unable to make the ceremony.
A trophy won at the UKRO (United Kingdom Rescue Organisation) National Challenge was presented to a team of firefighters from Hereford who competed in the Water Rescue Challenge, demonstrating numerous boat handling techniques and casualty rescue techniques in the water rescue environment. Firefighter Mark Cullum from the team was unable to attend the ceremony but both Firefighter Stephen King and Firefighter Nigel Stroud attended to receive the trophy.
The final award of the evening to be presented was the Institute of Fire Engineers Certificate. This was awarded to the late Watch Commander Chris Hobbs and received by his daughter Charlot.
CFO Yates confirmed that this was the second awards ceremony held by the Service this year, with the first staged in Worcester at the end of September.
He said: “Our firefighters display exceptional skill and commitment to duty on a daily basis and we look forward to celebrating their achievements in this way, with official recognition for their efforts.
“I’d like to congratulate all those who received an award and pass on my thanks to their families, whose support and understanding makes such a difference, but so often goes unnoticed.
“I would like to give specific thanks to Charlot and Elliot Hobbs for accepting the awards on behalf of their father, the late Watch Commander Chris Hobbs. Everyone who attended the ceremony was moved by their courage and composure and I know that Chris would feel enormously proud of them.”
He passed on his thanks to the Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire, Lady Susan Darnley, The High Sheriff of Herefordshire Lt. Colonel Charles Thwaites MBE and the Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Derek W Prodger MBE, for presenting the awards, and also the other dignitaries for their support at the event.