Firefighters and support staff at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) have been commended for their hard work and dedication at the brigades Long Service Awards.
Nineteen operational staff, including Chief Fire Officer John Roberts, were awarded the Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, which was introduced by Royal Warrant in 1954. It is only granted to firefighters and control room staff who have completed 20 years of outstanding service.
In addition, one member of support staff received the 20 Years Long Service Award and another has received the 40 Years Long Service Award, receiving a gift of engraved cut glass.
A ceremony took place at Fire Service Headquarters in Birkenshaw on Saturday (June 16) where staff and their families congregated for the momentous occasion.
This year’s presenting officer was Vice Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Mr Tim Hare.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton said: “Service to the community is at the heart of what West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service is all about. We are really proud of all of those staff who received their awards and medals on Saturday.
“The presentation ceremony brings together recipients, their families and friends, fire authority members and work colleagues to celebrate their outstanding commitment to this service and the people of West Yorkshire”
Medal and certificate recipients who have agreed to publicity are as follows:
Operational staff who received medals are:
Firefighter Stephen Bartle:
Stephen is based at Garforth fire station. In his spare time he plays the drums in a rock band and he also enjoys cycling.
Watch Commander Steven Blore:
Steve is on white watch at Pontefract. He is a keen cyclist and also a youth football coach.
He also says he’s a very proud father of his children who he calls his ‘3 little naughties’.
Firefighter Richard Briggs:
Richard is based at Shipley fire station and in his free time enjoys most sports, including watching Bradford City. He also admits to being into train spotting.
Crew Commander Andrew Clements:
Andrew is based at Rothwell fire station and has previously been posted to the former Stanks station and Hunslet. Prior to his Fire Service career he served as a Royal Marine Commando in 45 Commando in Arbroath.
Firefighter Andrew Crowther:
Andrew is from Killingbeck fire station and he says he has the hardest job on a fire station, feeding everyone for next to nothing as the mess manager. In 2016, Andrew and Killingbeck green watch ran the Great North Run in full fire kit and breathing apparatus, raising over £9000 for charity.
Crew Commander Carl de la Mare:
Carl is on white watch at Shipley. In his spare time he enjoys gardening, walking, video gaming and plays 5 a side football. He also has an interest in military history.
Firefighter Mark Godsman:
Mark is currently seconded to a national role based in Coventry. Prior to his fire service career he served in the military and was posted to Northern Ireland and the first Gulf War in 1991. He lives in the Yorkshire Dales and likes to take advantage of the location by mountain biking and walking when he has free time.
Crew Commander Cormac Patrick Goode:
Cormac has been based at Cleckheaton for 17 of his 20 years’ service. He is an instructor and Sergeant with the Army Cadets and trains them on everything from weapons handling to the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
Watch Manager Julian King:
Julian currently works in the Operational Equipment department at WYFRS HQ. In his free time he enjoys keeping fit at the gym and by walking on the moors. He also likes to travel abroad, spending time with family and is looking forward to the birth of his first grandchild in Sept.
Watch Manger Jamie Lister:
Jamie is currently working in the Fire Investigation Team. He says he loves anything with an engine in it including bikes, racing cars, camper vans and he is also a commercial helicopter pilot.
Firefighter Neil Smithers:
Neil currently works in the Operational Risk Management Team. He is the vice president of the World Amateur Bodybuilding Association and came 3rd in the world in 2012.
Firefighter Andrew Talbot:
Andrew is on blue watch at Halifax and previously served at Odsal and in the Operational Resource Pool. He enjoys running and has taken part in the London Marathon 3 times including this year.
Watch Manager Anthony Thorp:
Anthony currently works in the Operational Resource Pool. He enjoys mountain biking and has also recently started sailing with the brigade Sports and Social sailing section.
Watch Commander James Ward:
James works at South Kirby station. He is a former rugby league player for York City Knights and Featherstone Rovers and was a gold medalist twice with the brigade’s rugby team at the World Firefighter Games.
Firefighter David Williams:
Dave has been the West Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union Secretary for the last 6 years. Prior to his current role he served on blue watch at Stanks fire station for 15 years.
Watch Commander David Smith:
David is based on red watch at Castleford fire station He enjoys keeping fit, in particular running and cycling. He also enjoys travelling across Europe in his camper van whenever possible.
Chief Fire Officer John Roberts:
John has been the Chief of WYFRS since February 2017 and previously worked in South Yorkshire and Merseyside FRS’s. John is originally from Liverpool and his interests include watching Liverpool FC and operating Dads taxi on weekends for his children’s football matches and social activities.