Three South London fire brigade staff get gongs in New Year Honours for work through pandemic

Three South London staff have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours for their service to London Fire Brigade.

Fire fighters Harry Aquilina from Orpington Fire Station, Lisa Barker from West Norwood and Ashley Gordon from Lambeth Fire Station will receive British Empire Medals (BEM) for their services to the community during the Covid-19 response.

Principal Fire Engineer, Lynsey Seal has also been awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal.

Brigade staff have worked tirelessly to ensure they are there to serve Londoners. Recognised at the start of the pandemic for delivering a critical service to the public, crews have been supporting the London Ambulance Service as part of the Pandemic Multi-Agency Response Team (PMART), ensuring they are always there to serve the capital in any way they can.

Lynsey said: “I’m truly overwhelmed to have been nominated for such a prestigious award and I’m extremely proud to accept this on behalf of my team and fire safety as a whole.

To have the work of fire safety and fire engineering recognised in this way is very much appreciated. There are so many individuals within the fire service that work tirelessly and have dedicated themselves to improve fire safety for others and each and every one deserves recognition.”

Lisa and Harry said:  “We are incredibly honoured to be awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in HM Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.  As part of the Pandemic MuIti-Agency Response Team (PMART) we had the privilege to serve alongside brilliant Firefighters, Police Officers, Paramedics and Clinicians.

We couldn’t be any prouder to have worked with them to deliver the sad, but unfortunately necessary role of responding to Covid-19 deaths in homes across London. The professionalism, compassion, physical and moral courage shown by everyone in PMART was second-to-none and this medal really is for them all.”

Andy Roe, London Fire Commissioner said: “We have so many incredible staff that give their time to help people with such care and compassion.

These amazing people have adapted to the challenges we have faced throughout the pandemic, going above and beyond to ensure they are available for people facing difficulties across London.

I am incredibly proud to see four members of the Brigade receive awards for their services in the Queen’s Honours – taken in combination with Deputy Assistant Commissioner David O’Neill being awarded a MBE and Station Commander Wayne Horlock receiving a BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier in the year, this truly reflects support you have all given to London Communities over this most challenging year.

“Huge congratulations to Lynsey, Lisa, Harry and Ashley for being recognised for their exceptional contribution to the Brigade. I would like to thank them for their dedication over the years and all the support they have given people.”

The full New Year Honours list for 2021 celebrates the achievements and service of people across the UK with hundreds of volunteers being recognised for their amazing efforts.


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