West Sussex firefighters honoured at annual awards ceremony

Members of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service at their annual awards ceremony SUS-181018-114854001
Members of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service at their annual awards ceremony SUS-181018-114854001

Members of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) have been recognised for their hard work and commitment at the service’s annual awards ceremony.

Staff were honoured at Arundel Castle on Thursday, October 4, with the event celebrating all areas of the service.

The awards included long service, teamwork, lifetime achievement and volunteer of the year.

Families and friends were invited to watch the ceremony in the Baron’s Hall, before enjoying photographs and a buffet afterwards.

Gavin Watts, chief fire officer, said: “Recognising colleagues for the work that they do is one of the best bits of my job. This is always a wonderful evening and getting the chance to celebrate success with families and loved ones is a healthy reminder of all that is good about WSFRS.

“The fact that the current and previous high sheriff, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant and the Chief Superintendent for West Sussex made the effort to attend also indicates the high regard that WSFRS is held in.

“It was also pleasing to present a new award that we have named the Rob Mapley Shining Star award, in memory of our much loved and sorely missed colleague. Rob embodied the very best of the fire service and I am so grateful to Lynne Mapley that she has allowed us to celebrate Rob’s life in this way.”

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Debbie Kennard, cabinet member for safer, stronger communities, said: “Well done to all of our winners. Our firefighters work extremely hard to provide an essential emergency service around the clock, and it is important that we recognise and reward this through our annual awards.”

Long Service and Good Conduct (LSGC) medals are awarded nationally, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, to wholetime and on-call firefighters who have completed two decades of outstanding service to their community.

They were presented by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant Harry Goring. Recipients were:

• Phil Grace, Storrington – 20 year LSGC Medal: Phil has served with four separate stations over 20 years as a firefighter at Steyning, Crawley, Horsham and Littlehampton.

• Darren Greene, Bognor - 20 year LSGC Medal: Darren started at Bosham, and after 18 months split cover with Bognor, before moving there exclusively. He has also worked as an aviation firefighter and crew manager at Shoreham Airport.

• Mick Lewin, Billingshurst - 20 year LSGC Medal: Mick joined in 1995 as an on-call firefighter, before moving to wholetime. He joined the Technical Rescue Unit in 2006 and is currently the watch manager.

• Gary Locker, Goring - 20 year LSGC Medal: Gary joined the service in 1994, and has fulfilled a number of managerial roles, while playing a significant part in the development of the service.

• James Mackay, Pagham, Bognor - 20 year LSGC Medal: Jim joined the fire service in 1997, and spent time at stations in Crawley, Chichester, Worthing and Bognor. For the past three years he has worked in Training Development and Assurance as a lead instructor.

• Shane Mott, Worthing - 20 year LSGC Medal: Shane joined the service in 1997, moved to Crawley in 1999, and remains there to this day.

• John Murphy, Worthing - 20 year LSGC Medal: John started at Lancing for seven years before moving to Worthing as an on-call firefighter where he has remained until today.

• Edward Noyce, Crawley - 20 year LSGC Medal: Edward joined in 1996, and has been located at Crawley since 1998.

• Chris Saunders, Burgess Hill - 20 year LSGC Medal: Chris joined in 1996 and was based at Horley for a number of years, before transferring to Haywards Heath in 2006.

• Ray Jackson, Worthing - 40 year Meritorious medal: Ray has worked at several locations in the county, most notably as station commander at Horsham and Shoreham, recruitment officer at Worthing, and deputy district commander at Horsham.

• Stephen Toney, Littlehampton - 40 year Meritorious medal: Stephen has been in the service for 42 years, serving at East Preston, Arundel, Littlehampton and Lancing.

• Ian Walker, Haywards Heath - 40 year Meritorious medal: Ian has been a firefighter since 1977. He moved to Haywards Heath in 1989 and has served at the local station since.

Chief Fire Officer Commendation Awards were presented to individuals and teams who were nominated for going above and beyond the call of duty. These individuals were:

• Martin Gray - Dedication above and beyond the call of duty at an incident

• Dan Moon – Dedication above and beyond the call of duty at an incident

• Fiona Hargreaves - Outstanding contribution by giving 110 per cent on a critical project

• Lee Smith - For creating a World Cup themed safety campaign which reached 115,000 people

• Colin Tamon – Dedication above and beyond the call of duty while off duty

Other recipients were:

• Paul Watson – Lifetime Achievement

• British Red Cross – Partnership of the Year (represented by Amanda Carcary, Tina Knight and Adam Marshall)

• Gavin McCourty – Rob Mapley Shining Star

• James McGrath – Safer Stronger Community Award

• Marina Bailey – Team of the Year (Safe & Well Community Fire Safety Officers)

• Alistair Evans – Team of the Year (Safe & Well Community Fire Safety Officers)

• Mark Holland – Team of the Year (Safe & Well Community Fire Safety Officers)

• Steve Peck – Team of the Year (Safe & Well Community Fire Safety Officers)

• Gary Towson – Team of the Year (Safe & Well Community Fire Safety Officers)

• Mark Hayter (Business Fire Safety Team) – The Parham House Award

• Tania Fitch – Volunteer of the Year

• Arundel Fire Station – Car Wash Champions