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Herefordshire Medals and Awards Ceremony 2013

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Awards this year were presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire, Lady Darnley; the High Sheriff of Herefordshire, Mr Robert Tabor; Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates; and Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr Derek W Prodger MBE.

For those who have served for twenty years or more in the Service, the Fire Brigade’s Long Service and Good Conduct Medal was this year awarded to: Watch Commander Mark Andrews (South District), Station Commander Sean Bailey (Hereford), Watch Commander Lee Champ (West District), Station Commander Steve Jordan (Service Headquarters), Station Commander Martin Lown (Training Centre), Crew Commander Peter Probert (Hereford), and Area Commander Jon Pryce (Service Headquarters).

The Thirty Years’ Service Award was given to Retired Crew Commander Graham Brittain (Tenbury Wells) and Retired Watch Commander Allan Clayton (Eardisley). In recognition of his thirty-five years of service in HWFRS, Crew Commander Gary Barnett (Kington) was awarded the Outstanding Service Medal.

The recipient of the High Sheriff’s Community Safety Volunteer of the Year Award was Bernard Gardner; in recognition of the important role he has had in helping to make local communities safer places to live, work and travel.

Receiving this year’s Chief Fire Officer’s Certificate of Commendation were Police Sergeant Gareth Keyte and Miss Melanie Madley. Miss Madley was commended for her actions in the early morning on 16th April, when a fire broke out at Lawford House Residential Home in Ross-on-Wye. Not only did Melanie rescue the occupant of the room that was on fire, she also fought the fire itself with a foam fire extinguisher, briefed firefighters on the situation and assisted them in evacuating residents.

Sergeant Keyte was praised for his actions on the evening of 8 October 2012 when a member of the public entered the River Wye at Victoria Bridge, Hereford. Sergeant Keyte entered the river without the aid of a floatation device, and effectively controlled the resistant casualty ensuring that they remained afloat whilst travelling downstream.

Also praised for their actions during this incident were firefighters Adrian Morris, Colin Taylor, Shane Jones and Wayne Hanson of White Watch Hereford; who were awarded the Chief Fire Officer’s Letter of Congratulations. The incident required the rapid redeployment of firefighters and boat assets downstream from the bridge to enable a member of the rescue team to enter the water to assist Sergeant Keyte. Simultaneously a rescue boat was launched to remove all three people from the water.

Firefighter Steve Partridge, from Kingsland station, also received the Chief Fire Officer’s Letter of Congratulations. He was singled out for his actions during an off-duty incident involving a member of the public who had suffered a heart attack. Steve performed CPR on the casualty and instructed another person in the correct way to perform CPR while he retrieved a defibrillator from Kingsland Fire Station.

Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates said of the event, “It was a privilege to take part in this year’s ceremony and I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations to all those who have received awards this year in Herefordshire and Worcestershire: from our truly dedicated members of staff to some very exceptional members of the public.”