Essex firefighters' dedication and commitment honoured

PUBLISHED: 09:40 23 October 2013

Brian Foster was presented with his long service medals by the High Sheriff of Essex, Julia Abel Smith. Picture: ECFRS

Brian Foster was presented with his long service medals by the High Sheriff of Essex, Julia Abel Smith. Picture: ECFRS

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Long-serving firefighters described as "the backbone of the service" have been honoured for their dedication and commitment to the job.

Mark Webb was presented with his long service medals by the High Sheriff of Essex, Julia Abel Smith. Picture: ECFRSMark Webb was presented with his long service medals by the High Sheriff of Essex, Julia Abel Smith. Picture: ECFRS

Brian Foster and Mark Webb, of Saffron Walden fire station, and Phillip Wright, at Thaxted, were awarded with long service and good conduct medal’s for dedicating 20 years to Essex County Fire & Rescue Service.

They were among 17 firefighters presented with honours from the High Sheriff of Essex, Julia Abel Smith, at a special ceremony on Monday.

Chief fire officer David Johnson said: “They have given 20 years of exemplary service to the communities of Essex and in that time have developed a wealth of knowledge and experience which they can bring to bear in protecting and serving those communities.”

Brian has served at Saffron Walden for his entire 20 years’ service, while also working as a self-employed mechanic for the last 17 years which has enabled him to be on call round the clock.

Phillip Wright was presented with his long service medals by the High Sheriff of Essex, Julia Abel Smith. Picture: ECFRSPhillip Wright was presented with his long service medals by the High Sheriff of Essex, Julia Abel Smith. Picture: ECFRS

He has been to many major incidents over his career, most memorably to a 100 car pile-up on the M11.

Brian’s training came in useful one day when a man opposite his work collapsed and stopped breathing. He administered CPR, and managed to get the man breathing while they waited for the ambulance service. The man made a full recovery and the pair are now good friends.

Mark has been a retained firefighter at Saffron Walden for 20 years. His most memorable incident was the Boeing 747 airplane crash at Stansted Airport in December 1999 where he was the driver and pump operator of the Pinzgauer control pump, which was positioned beside the plane crash site.

Like most firefighters, he also vividly remembers his first live rescue... although unlike most firefighters his was of the small and furry variety – he found a hamster while ventilating a house following a fire in a sitting room.

Phillip has served at Thaxted for the whole of his 20 years’ service. He started his service career aged just 14 when he did some work experience at Thaxted. He loved it so much, he joined as soon as he was 18.

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