Awards for Bucks fire staff in New Year's honours

Lynne Swift and Terry Ridgley
Lynne Swift and Terry Ridgley

Two members of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's staff, based in Aylesbury, have been recognised in the 2018 New Year's Honours list.

Lynne Swift, Director of People and Organisational Development, has been made an OBE for services to the fire and rescue service, and Terry Ridgley, Welfare Support Officer, has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the fire and rescue service and The Fire Fighters Charity.

Chief Fire Officer Jason Thelwell QFSM said: “We are one of the smallest fire and rescue services in the country, but we always make a huge effort to be up there with the best.

“To be recognised twice in the New Year's Honours makes this an extraordinarily special day for Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service.

“Lynne and Terry work tirelessly for our community and make a difference to people’s lives every day. I am immensely proud that we have hundreds of people who do the same in our fire and rescue service. These honours are a recognition of them all.”

Lynne grew up in Barnsley and had a wide-ranging career over 40 years. During this time she has worked in a variety of sectors, including food manufacturing, social care, and social housing.

Lynne joined Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority in July 2010 to deliver the organisation’s 'modernisation agenda'. She said: “Although the honour is in my name, it is an honour for Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service which recognises everyone’s contribution to making Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes the safest areas in England in which to live, work and travel. It is a proud and humbling experience at the same time.”

Terry joined Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service as an 18-year-old in 1976 and served in operational roles at High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Beaconsfield and at the services' headquarters.

He was a Group Commander and head of Bucks Fire & Rescue Service's community safety team when he retired from operational service in 2011 and took up his current position as a member of support staff.

Terry’s role includes providing support to current and retired members of the organisation and their families through a range of different and difficult circumstances. Terry supports families through bereavement by assisting with funeral arrangements and supporting them through a range of personal, housing, financial and legal matters.

He has recently been recognised for 40 years' service to The Fire Fighters Charity, during which time he has supported numerous fundraising events .

Terry said: "It is a great honour to receive the British Empire Medal for my work in the fire and rescue service, which is very much about helping people in operational and support roles.

"It is very humbling to be recognised in this way and something which I will always treasure."