North Wales Fire and Rescue Service Awards CeremonyPosted
The Lord Lieutenant of Gwynedd, Mr Edmund Seymour Bailey presented
Long Service and Good Conduct Medals to operational staff from the Service
during a Presentation Ceremony held at Rhyl Community Fire Station on Monday 1st September.
The Long Service and Good Conduct Medal is awarded to
firefighters by Her Majesty's Representative in recognition of 20 years
Simon Smith, Chief FireOfficer said: "Receiving a medal is an
important occasion for every firefighter and this ceremony collectively
represents over 100 years of commitment and dedication to the Fire and Rescue Service in North Wales. All recipients can take pride and satisfaction in receiving their Long Service and Good Conduct Medals or Loyal Service Awards."
Eleven Community Awards were also presented at the ceremony in order to recognise members of staff and the community who have worked hard to improve community safety in North Wales.
Fire Service Long Service Good Conduct Medals
Christopher Robert Nott
Christopher joined Clwyd Fire Service in 1994 as a firefighter based at Rhyl becoming Leading firefighter in 1997 and Sub Officer in 1999.
Christopher progressed to Station Manager in 2005 and was acting Group Manager from 2013.
Christopher is currently Community Safety Manager based at Wrexham Area office.
Jennifer joined Clwyd Fire Service as a Temporary Control Operator in 1993, based at Rhyl Fire Station. She became a permanent Control Operator in 1994.
Jennifer was later promoted to Leading Fire Control Operator in 2001 and subsequently promoted to Watch Manager in 2005.
Jennifer is currently Watch Manager based at the Joint Communication Centre in
Harvey joined Clwyd Fire Service in February 1994 as a firefighter at Wrexham. Harvey was promoted to Leading Firefighter in 2001.
Harvey is currently Crew Manager at Wrexham Station.
Ricky joined Gwynedd Fire Service as a firefighter at Barmouth in 1992.
In 2005 he became Community Fire Safety Liaison Officer for Barmouth. In 2012
he was promoted to Crew Manager.
Ricky has secured a new position recently as a wholetime firefighter based at
Wrexham. In addition he continues as temporary Watch Manager at Barmouth.
Shaun Alexander Miller
Shaun joined Clwyd Fire Service as a firefighter at Wrexham in 1994 becoming Leading Firefighter in 1999.
Shaun is currently Crew Manager at Wrexham Station.
Richard Sean Clutton
Richard joined Clwyd Fire Service in April 1994 as a firefighter at Wrexham. He has had experience of acting as a Crew Manager during his service.
Richard is currently a firefighter at Wrexham Station.
Amanda Jane Ripley
Amanda joined Clwyd Fire Service as a Fire Control Operator in March 1993 based at Rhyl Station. Amanda has had experience of acting up to
Leading Control Operator and Crew Manager during her service.
Amanda is currently a Firefighter - Control at the Joint Communications Centre in St Asaph.
Mark Lawrence Ridgway
Mark joined Clwyd Fire Service as a firefighter at Ruthin in 1994.
He has since worked at Colwyn Bay in 2002 and then Wrexham in 2004.
At present Mark is a firefighter at Deeside Station.
David Wyn Jones
David joined Gwynedd Fire Service in 1994 as a Firefighter at Aberdyfi Station. In 2002 he was appointed as a firefighter in Bangor. David has recently had
experience of acting as a Crew Manager at Bangor.
David is currently a firefighter at Bangor station.
Contribution by an Individual
This award recognises a member of staff who regularly works above and beyond their normal duties.
Three individuals won this category.
The first of these is Neil Shivlock.
Neil is a Firefighter at Pwllheli Fire Station.
He was the driving force behind setting up a Young Firefighters branch
at the station after reminiscing with his colleague about the fun they had when
visiting the fire station as a child.
He set up the branch with help from his colleagues at the station and there are
now eight young people who attend the station every week to enjoy the
activities and benefits of being a member of the Young Firefighters
Because of Neil's decision and drive to establish this branch at Pwllheli, the young people in the area are clearly benefitting from his commitment and dedication.
Stuart Evans is a firefighter at Wrexham Fire Station.
As we are all aware the Service's main priority is to keep people safe and we
ensure this by offering a free home fire safety check and the installation of
Stuart's dedication to the safety of his local community is evidenced by the fact that over and above his watch's commitment he has completed on an individual basis 565 home fire safety checks last year.
Gary Price is a firefighter at Colwyn Bay Fire Station.
For over 15 years Gary has been heavily involved with the work of the Duke of
Edinburgh Award Scheme, working with Ysgol Bryn Eilian.
He coordinates all the activities and students are given the opportunity to
experience life as a firefighter as well as learning about important fire
Gary regularly gives up his own time to improve the course and without his
dedication and commitment the course would cease to function.
This partnership between Gary and the staff at Ysgol Bryn Eilian is allowing
students at the school to gain an extra qualification.
Outstanding Contribution to the Welsh Language
This award is presented to an individual, department or station who has made a
valuable contribution to the Welsh language.
Osian Hywel works in the Training Department in Rhyl and is very passionate about the Welsh Language.Osian has been a Welsh Language Champion since he joined the Training Department last year and strives to promote Welsh in the workplace.
He has always been very committed to his role as champion introducing more
Welsh into training courses, visiting stations to assist with Welsh, carrying
out assessments in Welsh and generally creating a very positive approach to
learning the language.
On a recent firefighter initial training course a number of new recruits, who were
non welsh speakers, had by the end of the third week, been given the confidence by Osian to demonstrate their ability to use the welsh language.
The Community Safety Partner Award
The Community Safety Partner Award is to recognise the work of partner agencies or public bodies who work effectively in partnership with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service in their quest to deliver vital community safety messages.
This year the award is shared between two organisations.
CAIS is a registered charity and leading voluntary sector provider
of personal support services in Wales helping people with issues such as
addictions, mental health, personal development and employment. CAIS is committed to working in partnership with others in keeping with the Welsh Governments All Wales Strategy - Tackling Substance Misuse in Wales.
Following a tragic death within the community in 2011, it was
discovered that this person had been a client of CAIS and prior to his death he
had been taking part in a CAIS treatment programme. On the basis of this information, and the understanding of the contributory factor that alcohol has in the instances of fire fatality, a meeting was arranged with CAIS, with a view to having a formalised procedure to refer their service users to North Wales Fire and Rescue Service for a home fire safety check.
The introduction of this referral process has developed and
expanded into a positive partnership, enabling our Service to engage with some of the hardest to reach and most vulnerable individuals
across the region. Sometimes clients
will be reluctant to take up the offer of a home fire safety check and we are
actively working with CAIS to identify ways to ensure and encourage take up of
a check. In turn, we have seen an increase in the
referrals generated from CAIS who are working proactively to improve the Home
Fire Safety of its clients.
To date, over 600 high risk referrals have been passed on by CAIS
since this process was adopted. These are clients that have a number of the
characteristics which makes them vulnerable to dying in a fire which were
identified in the Chief Fire Officers' Task Group Report. These include people
over 60 years of age, living alone at the time of the fire and those living
with mental or physical impairment.
This approach is being supported by all Managers at CAIS and
excellent communication has been maintained with the Service.
The second award in this category was presented to Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd.
Over the last three years Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd has been exceptional in working in partnership with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service by demonstrating their enthusiasm and support for community safety issues which involve their tenants.
Through these relationships a number of initiatives have been developed such as Junior Warden Scheme and Older People scheme. The partnership has been embraced by staff from both organisations, all working towards a shared goal to make the tenants of Catrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd safer in their homes.
The key to the success of the partnership is data sharing and referral, with all
new tenants being automatically referred for a home fire safety check.
In addition, Catrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd has agreed to monitor the profile of their tenants and ensure that those who are considered to be most vulnerable are priorities for urgent referral to North Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
Staff from both organisations regularly carry out joint visit to the homes to deliver
To date, over 600 home fire safety checks have been carried out at Cartrefi
Cymuedol Gwynedd's properties.
Staff from Carterfi Cymunedol Gwynedd's Corporate Communications Team are extremely proactive on their social media pages and have developed close links with the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service's Corporate Communications department to promote fire safety messages on social media.
Employer of the Year Award
The Employer of the Year Award is in recognition of a local employer who regularly releases staff to carry out firefighting duties in the community. These
employers are essential in assisting to keep fire appliances available across
This year's winner was Mr Gareth Roberts. He is the proprietor of Castle Bakery in Beaumaris, and has allowed one of his employees to be released for fire calls over the last 13 years.
By allowing the member of staff to be released on a regular basis to respond to
fire calls production in the bakery can be put back quite a bit at times.
However, Gareth has carried on releasing a member of staff to respond to
emergency calls in the area.
Without the co-operation of this employer the station's availability could be
affected as it only takes one member of the crew not to respond to make that
station unavailable to attend calls within the community.
Station of the Year Award
This award is for the station that has carried out notable work during the last 12
This year the award went to Rhyl Community Fire Station.
Following the severe flooding to Garford Road in Rhyl on 5th December 2013,
over 300 members of the community were evacuated from their homes to Rhyl
Leisure Centre. For over a week, Rhyl Community Fire Station was utilised by Denbighshire County Council as a 'one stop shop' for those evacuated to have a safe place to visit all services that would be able to help them start rebuilding their lives including police, social services, insurance companies and financial advisors.
Although groups were already pre booked to use the station facilities, the staff led by Neil Gallagher ensured these were all catered for, locating additional facilities either within the station, on the Denbighshire site or at other locations within the Service.
The Community Fire Station was also open throughout the weekend to enable quick and easy access to those who needed it the most and were most at risk. The station provided a warm and comforting environment which was fully supported by those members of staff either on duty normally or those that offered to assist with the additional work load.
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service staff maintained the facilities ensuring warm drinks and hygiene facilities were available at all times. Due to the
weather conditions the station needed constant cleaning to ensure that it still
looked professional. This was undertaken by members of staff taking pride in
its appearance especially with so many external organisations and agencies
using the facilities.
A number of appreciation letters were received in the following weeks including
letters from local politicians and the Statutory Director of Social Services
for Denbighshire County Council.
Young Person of the Year
This award is for a young person who has demonstrated commitment in any activity with the Service this year.
Jasmyn Humphries is currently completing a twelve months work experience programme with the Service.
She was a former student on the Phoenix project who
then went on to the Phoenix 2 project and showed such excellent leadership
potential that she is currently working as part of the team helping other young
people to experience the benefits of the course.
In addition to working on the Phoenix project she has developed The 'Save Lives Wrexham' initiative with another former Phoenix student and her friend Laura Kendrick. Their aim is to raise awareness among young people of the importance of safety behind the wheel.
The project is undertaken through the charity 'Fixers' - a nationwide movement for 16-25 year olds who are using their own experiences to improve something in their community.
They have produced a DVD which has been filmed at Wrexham and Rhyl Fire
Stations as well as RAF Sealand. Jasmyn and Laura will be visiting high schools
in the Wrexham region in September to talk about their experience and the
importance of road safety.
Jasmyn is committed to changing the attitudes and preconceptions of her peers, and the Service was pleased to be able to support her DVD.
The Safest Community Award
The Safest Community Award is presented to an individual, who has provided an
unparalleled commitment to the Fire and Rescue Service in North Wales for the
length of service as a member of the retained duty system.
This year the award goes to Mark Fishwick.
Mark joined the Service in September 1980 and has served his entire career at St Asaph Fire Station. He is currently Watch Manager in charge of St Asaph.
Learner of the Year
The Learner of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has shown
commitment and determination towards learning Welsh.
John Dowling is a firefighter at Pwllheli Fire Station.
Originally from Liverpool John married a local girl from Pwllheli. He started learning Welsh when his daughters were very young and he now speaks welsh fluently every day in the community and at the fire station.
He is an excellent example to other learners within the Service of the high
standards that can be achieved when learning welsh as a second language through his commitment to learn the language over the years.
Outstanding Contribution to a charity
This award is for an Outstanding Contribution to a Charity or Charities. This award goes to a person or a team who has worked tirelessly throughout the year to raise money, and has given up large amount of their own time so as to benefit others.
Four members of Service staff based in Caernarfon are among a group of local people who have recently come together to establish a new charity to support children and young people with cancer.
Celfyn Evans, Keith Williams, Tim Lloyd and Andrew Craig from Caernarfon have helped create the 'Gafael Llaw' charity which aims to stage various activities to raise funds to help the fight against cancer.
The charity supports the Dewi Ward at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Alder Hey Hospital in
Liverpool and the cancer charity, Clic Sargent.
The Charity staged three events last year - a cricket match between teams of
employers was successful in raising over £17,000, a comedy night raised £1,888
and the first ever Santa Run in Caernarfon which raised £2,338 and saw 250 people taking part.
Their latest event was the 'Tour de Cymru' which involved a cycle ride around
Wales diverting into Merseyside, to increase awareness about the effects of
cancer among children and young people, as well as raising significant funds
for our charity.
The event which was held last month saw the team visiting 15 children's wards
in hospitals in different parts of the country, as well as The National
Eisteddfod in Llanelli, The National Assembly in Cardiff and Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool along the 623
So far from this alone they have raised over £52,000 and money is still coming in.
Staff Suggestion Scheme
The staff suggestion scheme provides an
opportunity for staff to suggest new ideas or initiatives that will improve the
way in which the service can be delivered more efficiently or effectively. This
year we are taking the opportunity to recognise two of these suggestions.
Helen Angel-Hayes works in the Joint Communication Centre in St Asaph and her suggestion was to improve the baby changing facility here at the Rhyl Community Fire Station.
Amanda Ripley also works in the Joint Communication Centre and her suggestion was to have a better, more cost effective, way of exchanging faulty smoke alarms.
This award is for a person who has identified a new idea that has made a valuable contribution to the Service.
This year there were two winners.
The first was Paul Williams.
Paul Williams is a Home Safety Support Worked based at South Gwynedd.
Paul has instigated two innovative and successful partnerships in the South
Gwynedd area - the first is with a local hairdressing salon in Dolgellau who
promote fire safety and collects free home fire safety check referrals from
More recently, Paul has been working with Emma Jones, Police Community Support Officer in the Blaenau Ffestiniog area, and together they offer joint visits
which incorporate free home fire safety checks and a reassurance element from
North Wales Police to encourage crime prevention. These visits have proved very popular.
He also plays a pivotal role in the success of the 'Clwb Cinio' events held at
Dolgellau Fire Station, helping to set up for the events and gives a fire
safety presentation to all who attend.
The second award was to Steve Morris.
Steve Morris works in the Information, Communication and Technology department based at Conwy.
Steve regularly works above and beyond his normal duty, working additional
hours to meet demands. His core duties as Network Analyst are to manage the network and telephone systems, but he also provides technical support and training to staff on a wide range of ICT services. He is often the person that resolves the more complex technical faults.
In order to improve his network engineering skills, Steve attended evening classes for two years in his own time to become a qualified Cisco Certified Network Analyst. These new skills have enabled him to make improvements on the network.
Steve also delivers innovative solutions within the Service. He implemented changes on the network to allow staff and visitors to have internet access and has improved business continuity arrangements. It has also enabled network connectivity on all sitesso that they can be used as Multi-Agency Silver Controls.
Systems development is not part of his day job and has required a considerable amount of effort from Steve, carrying out research and training in his own time to
develop the skills to implement these service improvements.