A Long Sutton businessman has described receiving the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his work as a retained firefighter as one of the highlights of his career.
Richard King (47) received the BEM from Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis in front of family and colleagues at Long Sutton Fire Station last Sunday.
The award was announced in the New Year’s Honours list last December and Richard, watch manager at Long Sutton Fire Station, was given it “for services to Fire and Rescue and to Emergency Medical Care”.
Richard, married with four children and two grandchildren, said: “I didn’t really want too much of a fuss, just a low-key thing with immediate family and crew from the fire station.
“I’m still delighted to have received the BEM and people still say to me ‘you’re the gentleman who received the medal.”
Richard combines his firefighting duties with running a stonemasonry business, having juggled the demands of handling more than 1,000 calls since September 2014 after the fire station became part of a joint life-saving project with East Midlands Ambulance Service and LIVES First Responders.
I’m still delighted to have received the BEM and people still say to me ‘you’re the gentleman who received the medalRichard King BEM, watch manager at Long Sutton Fire Station
“One of my highlights, along with the BEM, was being the first fire station in the country to receive an ambulance as part of the project,” Richard said
“We’ve had 430 calls since the start of the year and over 1,000 calls since the Joint Ambulance Conveyance Project started in September 2014.
“I very much think that the people of Long Sutton have openly welcomed the project and got used to us turning up in an ambulance, as much as a fire engine.”
Richard’s BEM presentation came just two weeks after newly qualified firefighter Jamie Foulsham (34) joined the eight-strong fire and rescue team serving Long Sutton and the surrounding area.
“I’m the person who got the BEM award pinned to my chest but, as far as I’m concerned, I don’t go out on my own and the medal is for all the people at Long Sutton Fire Station, as well as myself,” Richard said.