Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service firefighters and staff were honoured at the service's Star Awards ceremony. This year there were nine categories designed to honour frontline and support staff and volunteers. Contribution to the Team, Fire and Rescue Service Excellence, Learner of the Year, Employee of the Year, Most Effective Work in the Community, Volunteer of the Year, Courageous Action, Most Effective Work with Children and Young People and Team of the Year were the awards in this third annual event. Nominees are put forward by their peers who submit a nomination form to the panel of judges who then shortlist the entries. Almost 200 people attended this year's ceremony at the Park Royal Hotel in Warrington to find out who had been judged the winner in each category.


The category winners were:

Contribution to the Team
Graham Foster and Ursula Jones
Fire and Rescue Service Excellence
Station Manager Martin Dowle
Learner of the Year
Jenna Clare, Respect programme
Employee of the Year
Station Manager Steve Barnes
Most Effective Work in the Community
Firefighter Rob Everson
Volunteer of the Year
Alan Owen
Courageous Action (2 winners)
Bravo Watch, Knutsford Fire Station and Red Watch, Widnes Fire Station
Most Effective Work with Children and Young People
Firefighter Chris Rodaway
Team of the Year
Runcorn Fire Station

Chair of Cheshire Fire Authority David Topping said: "As a locally elected representative I regularly get to see the positive impact staff from all across the organisation have on our communities and I am justifiably proud of the Service and our staff.  The success of those being recognised not only reflects on the individuals and teams but also  their families and friends who support them at home. The true value of a supportive home life can not be underestimated, especially when faced with difficult and sometimes tragic circumstances that are faced at work."

A special award was given to the firefighters who made up the CFRS UKISAR Teams which had returned either from New Zealand or Japan. Bryn, the rescue dog, also attended the ceremony, still bandaged following an injury he sustained in Japan.
At the same ceremony nine firefighters received their Long Service Good Conduct award. Firefighter Robert Bailey, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin, Firefighter Lee Cliffe, Watch Manager Gillian Dimelow, Firefighters Paul Johnson and Phil Jones, Station Manager John McDermott, Group Manager Michael (Gus) O'Rourke and Station Manager Paul Winder were all presented with their medals by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs. Watch Manager Dimelow is the first female firefighter in Cheshire to receive this award.
Posted: 15.19pm, 13.05.11