Huge congratulations to all those from Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) recognised in the New Year Honours list, which was announced last Wednesday (30/12/2020).

The Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, Roy Wilsher, is delighted and proud to see a number of people from across the UK FRS receiving honours in this year’s prestigious list.

This year’s honours also includes outstanding contributions for assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic.

NFCC Chair Roy Wilsher, said: “It goes without saying that this year has been very difficult and has presented a number of challenges for everyone. I am incredibly proud of the outstanding work carried out by all fire and rescue services staff and how everyone has gone above and beyond to support the response to the pandemic.

“Once again, we see a number of FRS staff receiving a prestigious honour and I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to all those recognised, while giving thanks for all the hard work, dedication and commitment of all staff.

“It is no surprise that firefighters and fire and rescue services staff stepped up and took on additional work to help those who needed it most as soon that help was required. This is continuing as the pandemic changes - we remain ready, willing and able to step up and help, this includes being ready to help support the vaccination programme.”

The list below highlights people from fire and rescue services who have received a Queen’s New Year Honour.


Cleveland FRS

  • BEM: Paul Thompson. For services to the community in Saltburn.


Dorset and Wiltshire FRS

  • BEM: Christopher Martin. For services to the community in Ramsbury, Wiltshire.


East Sussex FRS

  • BEM: David (Bill) Brewster. For services to Fire Safety.


Essex FRS

  • BEM: Martin Cable, For services to the community in Maldon.


London Fire Brigade

  • BEM: Lisa Barker. For services to the Community in London during the Covid-19 response.
  • BEM: Ashley Gordon. For services to the Community in London during the Covid-19 response.
  • BEM: Harry Aquilina, For services to the Community in London during the Covid-19 response.


Northern Ireland FRS

  • MBE: Karen McDowell, Station Commander. For services to the Northern Ireland FRS and to the LGBTQ community.


Suffolk FRS

  • BEM: Kenneth Ashby. For services to the community in Suffolk and to the Firefighters Charity.


QFSM (Queen’s Fire Service Medal)

  • Martin Blunden, Chief Fire Officer, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • Andrew Cole, Area Manager, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Lynsey Seal, Principal Fire Engineer, London Fire Brigade
  • David Pitt, Crew Commander, West Midlands Fire Service
  • Stuart Errington, Chief Fire Officer, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service
  • Ben Ansell, Chief Fire Officer, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Chris Strickland, Chief Fire Officer, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Trevor Ferguson, Chief Fire Officer, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service


Honours are decided by an honours committee. These then go to the Prime Minister and on to the Queen.

The Honours system recognises people who have:

  • Made achievements in public life
  • Committed themselves to serving and helping Britain
  • Have made life better for other people
  • Be outstanding at what they do
  • Make a difference to their community or field of work
  • Long-term voluntary service
  • Improve life for people less able to help themselves
  • Display moral courage