Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service have been awarded Community Awards from the High Sheriff of Dorset, George Streatfeild, and the High Sheriff of Wiltshire, Major General Ashley Truluck.
These were presented at the Service’s virtual awards celebration held on 3 November.
High Sheriffs customarily make awards during their year in office, to recognise the exceptional work undertaken by the emergency services and the criminal justice system. They also celebrate individuals who go ‘above and beyond’ to improve the cultural, social and economic fabric of their communities.
This year, due to the on-going coronavirus crisis, the High Sheriffs decided to bestow community awards to recognise organisations and communities that have excelled in supporting local people at this most difficult of times.
In presenting his award for Dorset, Mr Streatfeild said that 2020 would remain in the memory locally, not just for coronavirus but also for the massive fire at Wareham Forest in May.
“Every section of the Service, not just firefighters, showed dedication, commitment and sheer determination to not only put the fire out but save lives, save homes and save wildlife – you deserve every credit and recognition.”
Major General Truluck, presenting his award for Wiltshire, said: “As chair of the Wiltshire Community Foundation, I’ve been enormously impressed by the way fire crews have pitched in to help the NHS, the ambulance service and community support groups across Wiltshire and Dorset, often in addition to their normal duties.”
Having received both awards on behalf of everyone in Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said:
“I am very proud to have accepted these awards from the High Sheriffs, especially as they are for the whole organisation.
“As with many other organisations, we have had to significantly change how we work in so many ways since the pandemic took hold in March. This has involved firefighters and staff undertaking new tasks, as well as ensuring we can continue to deliver our prevention, protection and emergency response functions to our communities across Dorset and Wiltshire.
“We are ‘One Team’, and everyone has risen to the challenge and continues to work at an exceptionally high standard. To have this recognised by our two High Sheriffs is a huge honour, and I thank them both for their kind words and ongoing support.”