knighthoodLondon Fire Brigade’s Director of Operational Resilience & Training and a West Midlands firefighter with 23 years service were among those from the Service receiving New Years' honours from the Queen earlier this month.

London's Gary Reason received the Queen’s Fire Service Medal 28 years service, during which he has been at the centre of major incidents and emergency planning for the Brigade.

Since joining in 1984, he has accrued a wealth of experience, representing the Brigade at Gold level, managing operations at some of London’s most challenging incidents, and acting as lead officer during the inquests covering the 7th July 2005 London bombings.

Upon receiving his award Gary said: “As any firefighter will tell you, the job is very much about team work, so I would never have received this award without the hard work of a lot of friends and colleagues. I’m very proud to work for the London Fire Brigade, and I’m truly honoured to be counted among those who have previously received this award.”

Since becoming Director of Operational Resilience and Training, Reason has developed new response capabilities for terrorist threats and helped the Brigade’s preparations for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. LFB Commissioner Ron Dobson described him as "a dedicated friend & colleague and a true asset to the Brigade".

Meanwhile, West Midlands Fire Service Chief Fire Officer has given his praise to firefighter Richard Stanton for receiving an MBE.

Vij Randeniya said:  “Richard is a shining example of someone who has demonstrated exceptional bravery time and again, going above and beyond the call of duty for the benefit of others.

"He selflessly puts himself in danger to help, and is one of only four world renowned cave divers.  He has a reputation for pushing himself beyond the limits and has become well known around the globe for his work because of such bravery and the level of expertise he has developed. I am delighted for Richard, he thoroughly deserves this accolade."

In October 2010 FF Stanton was asked by the French authorities to assist in locating an experienced diver who was last in the Ardeche region’s daunting Draggonniere Gaude cave system and was instrumental in the recovery of the diver.

Another notable rescue in which he was involved was that of six British soldiers who had become trapped in rising flood water in a cave in Mexico, when FF Stanton persuaded one of the cavers who was terrified of water to make a 180 metre dive out of the cave, despite having never dived before.

Speaking about his award FF Stanton said: “It isn’t particularly unusual for me to get official looking letters in the post because of my international rescue work, but when I got notification of this on behalf of the Palace I was absolutely astounded.  I’m just doing work I enjoy to the best of my ability, but I’m thrilled to be awarded the MBE”

Other FRS personnel receiving honours in the New Year's list were:

  • MBE: David John Beardsall, Retained Watch Manager in Charge, Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority
  • MBE: Michael Roy Mottram, Equipment Officer, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • OBE: Neil Cole, Retained Firefighter, Isle of Wight
  • QFSM: Glynis Brenda Lomax, Head of the Operational Intelligence Unit
  • QFSM: Colin Charles Rockey, Group Manager, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
  • QFSM: Christopher Patrick Boulton, Senior Adviser to the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser at Department for Communities and Local Government.
  • QFSM: David Millar, Acting Chief Officer Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service
  • QFSM: Ronald Allexander Beedie, Watch Manager in charge at Ellon Fire Station, Grampian Fire and Rescue Service  

Posted 07/01/2013 by