FIREFIGHTERS were recognised for their 'outstanding' service over the last year at a prestigious awards ceremony.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service handed out awards to service men and women and volunteers devoted for more than 20 years on September 27.

Those who were recognised picked up awards in 11 categories, including Employee of the Year, Fire Station of the Year and Emergency Responder of the Year.

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Trevor Ferguson, chief fire officer, said: “This year has been both a very challenging and rewarding year for the Service, so it is crucial that we take the time to reflect on the personal contributions of all those that attended the evening, and of those that weren’t able to attend.”

The HR services team, Jackie Tappern won the 'Employee of the Year award' for her tireless work in supporting staff with health and work-related concerns.

Mortimer Fire Station won Fire Station of theYear for its work in increasing the number of on-call firefighters at the fire station, leading to better fire engine availability to respond to emergencies.

The evening not only brought together, fire and rescue service staff, volunteers, Fire Authority Members and partners from blue light services.

In addition, the Lord Lieutenant of Royal Berkshire, Mr James Puxley, presented the Long Service and Good Conduct Medals under Royal Warrant on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen and the High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire, Lucy Zeal and Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of the Fire & Rescue Service presented awards to recipients.

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Councillor Colin Dudley, chairman of the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, said: “I am delighted that we were able to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who work for, and with, the Service.

“Whilst the evening is an opportunity to celebrate with friends and family, it was also an opportunity to reflect on the many ways in which staff and partners have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their work.”