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The successes of fire service staff over the last 12 months was celebrated at the prestigious annual Recognition and Achievement Awards Ceremony last night.

Those honoured at Arundel Castle included members of the public, serving firefighters and support staff.

The ceremony celebrated staff that have achieved 20 and 40 years of long service and good conduct, with medals being presented by the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, Mrs Susan Pyper.

Fifteen Chief Fire Officer Commendation Awards were also presented. Among the award categories were Career/Lifetime Achievement Award, Charity Champion and Special Recognition for those staff who had gone above and beyond in their duties.

Bravery Awards were also issued to members of the public for their acts of courage at the scene of a fire. One of the recipients was David McLellan, who rescued a neighbour from a flat fire earlier this year.

Back in May, David heard the fire alarm activate in his block of flats in Shoreham and made a 999 call. Upon vacating the property, David noticed smoke issuing from the door of a neighbouring flat. Without any hesitation he forced the door and was met with thick black smoke.

He continued into the flat where he found his neighbour inside and assisted her to fresh air.

His neighbour was admitted to hospital, but thanks to the selflessness of David, she is expected to make a full recovery.

Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Communities and Fire & Rescue said: “I would like to a say a huge well done to all of the evening’s winners. Each and every person within the fire service works incredibly hard to provide outstanding public service and it has been an absolute pleasure to recognise this through the awards ceremony.”

Chief Fire Officer, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton said: “Celebrating the successes and achievements of our staff and members of the public is without a doubt one of the best parts of my job and our annual awards ceremony always makes for a wonderful evening.

“It truly is an honour being able to hear the stories of all our amazing people and it’s a healthy reminder of all that is great about the fire service.

A string quartet from West Sussex Music were also playing at the event.

The full list of awards recipients are:

Long service and Good Conduct Medals (20 years):

  • Adrian Carter (Western Group Manager)
  • Alfred Ancell (Worthing)
  • Andrew Mannering (Worthing Training Centre)
  • David Baker (now at Surrey CC)
  • Ed Coulson (Horsham)
  • Gavin Twinn (Haywards Heath)
  • Jason Pollock (Bognor)
  • Justin Bomyer (Crawley)
  • Kevin Jephson (Littlehampton)
  • Mark Hull (Bognor)
  • Neal Temperley (Crawley)
  • Neil Dorrell (Littlehampton)
  • Neil Hill (Chichester)
  • Neil Holland (East Grinstead)
  • Paul Gilbert (Worthing)
  • Paul Stepney (Horsham)
  • Paul Trinick (Crawley)
  • Pete Sadler (Station Commander)
  • Richard Coomber (Operational Training)
  • Richard Cruise (Fire Safety/retained at East Preston)
  • Rodney Gates (Learning and Development)
  • Sabrina Cohen-Hatton (Chief Fire Officer)
  • Sean Embleton (Bognor)
  • Steve Philby (Littlehampton/retained at Storrington)
  • Steve Robinson (Worthing)
  • Terry Tucknott (Crawley)

Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (40 years):

  • Roy Barraclough (Shoreham)
  • Duncan Knight (Midhurst)

Long Service and Good Conduct Certificate (40 years):

  • Sue Howkins

Commendation award winners:

  • Career/Lifetime Achievement Award: John Stone
  • Career/Lifetime Achievement Award: John Bishop
  • Shining Star: Laura Mullins
  • Shining Star: Kerri Nicholls
  • Shining Star: Ken Hall
  • Team of the Year (sponsored by Tait Communications): Prevention Team
  • Community Award: Selsey Fire Station
  • Charity Champion: Land’s End to John O’Groats Cycling Team
  • Volunteer of the Year: Richard Mattock
  • Retained Employer of the Year:  Bunn Leisure
  • Special Recognition: Jim Mackay
  • Special Recognition (COVID-19): Scott Collier
  • Special Recognition (Chief Fire Officer Award): Steve Foster
  • Bravery Award: Dave McLellan