Over 500 years of Service recognised at Avon Fire & Rescue Service Awards

Staff from across Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) come together to celebrate achievements and over 500 years of combined service to the local community.


The event, held at Aerospace Bristol, took place in the shadow of Concorde, and gave staff a chance to celebrate their achievements together. Attendees, alongside their families and loved ones, had the opportunity to spend time in the museum before a welcome address from Chief Fire Officer Simon Shilton.

AF&RS Drill Squad performed a march and read an extract from the Royal Warrant, as is tradition ahead of the presentation of Her Late Majesty the Queen's Long Service and Good Conduct medals, presented by Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol, Mrs Peaches Golding OBE to staff who've served for over 20 years.

Attendees from operational, control and corporate departments within the Service were also awarded with 30 and 40 years Meritorious Service Medals and Certificates presented by Chief Fire Officer Simon Shilton and Chair of Avon Fire Authority (AFA) Brenda Massey.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Shilton, said: "Celebrating over 500 years of meritorious service and dedication to our communities with so many inspiring individuals is truly an honour. For decades, those who recieved long service medals this evening have made sacrifices and faced many challenges throughout their careers and their commitment to the organisation and communities we serve is commendable."

A number of additional awards for bravery and excellence were also presented. Crew Manager Anthony Aldridge and PC Justin Robbie were first on the scene at a challenging incident last year and their quick thinking led to the rescue of two people from a life-threatening situation during a flat fire. Crew Manager Anthony Aldridge was presented with the Chief Fire Officer's Commendation and PC Justin Robbie was presented with an award from the Society for the Prevention of Life from Fire for their bravery, quick thinking and courageousness that night.

The Community Safety Award was presented to Nikki Rice and Meghann Elvin, the Services' Joint Safeguarding Leads, for their tireless work ensuring the most vulnerable in our community are supported.

There were two winners for the Contribution to Charitable Events Award. Firstly, Watch Manager Rich Wheeler, who has led the Services' Charity Team with dedication and originality to raise money for countless charities since he began leading the team. The second award was presented to Louisa Roger, who led the planning and delivery of a 48-hour non-stop 1823km distance race which raised of £7,000 for the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal in 2022.

Simon added: "There are so many passionate member's of staff who work hard every single day who embody our Service values and make Avon Fire & Rescue Service who we are today. Together, our staff work incredibly hard to protect local people, reduce harm and ultimately, collaborate with each other and other organisations to make our community a safer place to live and work."

A number of staff were also presented with awards for their commitment to bringing the Services' values to life, the award categories and winners are:

Chief Fire Officers Award

Corporate Communications Team

Avon Fire Authority Chairs' Award

Helen Excell

Emma Bowen


Lucy Jefferies


The Fire Survival Guidance Team


Crew Manager Mark Rayner


Watch Manager Nick Hayward


Positive Action Recruitment Team


Black History Truck Wrapping Working Group