Shropshire firefighters recognised at annual awards ceremony

A fire control operator with more than 40 years service has received the High Sheriff Good Citizen Award for his “substantial contribution” to society.

Shrewsbury fire control operator Paul Pryce receives the good citizen award from Shropshire High Sheriff Rhoderick Swire
Shrewsbury fire control operator Paul Pryce receives the good citizen award from Shropshire High Sheriff Rhoderick Swire

Paul Pryce, Watch Manager with Blue Watch, received the award from High Sheriff Rhoderick Swire at a Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service awards ceremony held at Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury.

Bridgnorth Fire Station won two major awards for their fundraising efforts and 21 firefighters and support staff – who had 490 years total service – received Long Service and Good Conduct medals for 20, 30 and 40 years service.

Paul Pryce, who answers emergency calls was commended for his long service and for having a positive impact on the safety and well being of the community.

He had seen “pretty much” all that the fire and rescue service had to deal with during his long service, said the High Sheriff.

Originally joining as a firefighter in 1977, Paul transferred to Fire Control two years later after a serious accident.

His great experience, knowledge and naturally caring attitude, helped colleagues through difficult times, he said.

An active school governor, local and regional representative of the Fire Brigade Union, Paul also plays an active part in his home village of Ford, near Shrewsbury.

“Throughout his adult life, Paul has tried to do whatever he can to help those around him, whether at work or at home, and for that lifelong willingness he is a deserved winner of this award.”

Bridgnorth Watch Manager Ashley Brown won the Telent Charity Shield for his outstanding contribution to the Fire Fighters Charity which saw annual fundraising rise over the past five years from £7,000 to £50,000 last year.

Bridgnorth Fire Station won the Dave Bishton Challenge Shield for a record breaking performance in collecting £11,500 – the most raised by a county fire station.

Ashley thanked Sainsbury’s for their support in naming them their charity of the year and allowing them to hold numerous events at the local supermarket to collect £7,500.

Shropshire’s Lord Lieutenant Algernon Heber Percy and Councillor Chris Mellings congratulated the medal recipients and presented the awards to those with 20 and 30 years service.

Presenting Paul Pryce with his award, Chief Fire Officer Rod Hammerton said: “To reach 40 years service is a huge achievement not reached by many in the UK.”

The awards ceremony was one of the high points of the year to pay tribute to colleagues who had put in “decades of service” into keeping safe the people and communities of Shropshire, he said.