Soham and Burwell firefighters honoured for long service at annual Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service Excellence Awards

Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Penny Walkinshaw, presenting a Long Service and Good Conduct Me

Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Penny Walkinshaw, presenting a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal to Soham crew commander Giles Fuller with Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland, far right. Picture: Cambs Fire. - Credit: Archant

A firefighter and a crew commander based in Soham were both honoured for their long service at an annual awards evening.

Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Penny Walkinshaw, presenting a Long Service and Good Conduct Me

Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Penny Walkinshaw, presenting a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal to Soham crew commander Giles Fuller with Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland, far right. Picture: Cambs Fire. - Credit: Archant

Crew commander Giles Fuller and firefighter David Hobbs were presented with their medals by deputy lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Penny Walkinshaw, at the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) Excellence Awards.

The long service and good conduct medals were presented under a Royal Warrant for members of the uniformed service after completing 20 years of long service to the fire and rescue service and the public.

Retired watch commander Les Fuller, who is based in Burwell, was also honoured for his 25 years’ service. He was presented with the Chairman’s Award by Sir Peter Brown, chairman of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority.

Cambridge Black Watch, who have gone viral multiple times with their inventive fire safety videos, also scooped two awards on the night.

Burwell Watch Commander Les Fuller receiving The Chairman's Award, presented to him by Sir Peter Bro

Burwell Watch Commander Les Fuller receiving The Chairman's Award, presented to him by Sir Peter Brown (far right), with Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland (far left). Picture: Cambs Fire. - Credit: Archant


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They won the award for Excellence in Community Fire Safety after their chimney sweeping safety video, which saw them re-enacting the Mary Poppins song ‘Step In Time’, caught the attention of judges.

The judges said: “It delivered an important safety message reminding people to get their chimneys swept to prevent fires in a fun and innovative way.”

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Their second award, for Operational Excellence, was given for successfully rescuing a trapped donkey from an 18-inch man hole, within a flooded pit, seven foot deep, in what was described as a “complex and difficult incident”.

The event at the Marriott Hotel in Huntingdon, which was attended by more than 140 guests, was hosted by chief fire officer Chris Strickland.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland (far left) presenting an Excellence Award for Community Fire Saf

Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland (far left) presenting an Excellence Award for Community Fire Safety to Black Watch Cambridge. Picture: Cambs Fire. - Credit: Archant

He said: “The awards give us the chance to celebrate all the amazing work that takes place 24/7 on the frontline, behind the scenes and within our communities.

“They allow us to recognise the commitment, passion, dedication and professionalism of all our staff, both operational and support, giving the nod to those who are inspirational leaders, innovative thinkers and those dedicated to making a difference to the lives of all the residents of Cambridgeshire.”

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