D"> Rare accolade to be presented to Deal firefighter

Rare accolade to be presented to Deal firefighter

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Rare accolade to be presented to Deal firefighter

Posted: 25/09/2008 00:13:00

A firefighter from Deal is to receive the prestigious Kent medal - a rare accolade recognising outstanding service and commitment to Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) and the wider Kent community - at a special ceremony.

Crew Manager Malcolm Cowie, from Deal, will be presented with the honour at Oakwood House, Maidstone on the 30th September.

Created to acknowledge those who have served KFRS in an outstanding and exemplary manner, the original Kent medal was approved for issue on March 18th 1986 and since then has only been awarded to 20 people.

The award may be given to whole time, part-time, business staff and Authority Members who, in the opinion of Kent’s Chief Fire Officer Bill Feeley, deserve appropriate recognition.

Malcolm joined KFRS in 1969 at the age of 16 as a junior firefighter and for the last 18 years of his career has been based at Deal fire station. As well as fulfilling his full time duties, Malcolm commits his spare time to the role of retained (part time) firefighter.

During his career, Malcolm has become deeply involved in search and rescue, joining the UK Fire Search and Rescue team in its founding days and becoming an early member of the Overseas Search and Rescue team, responding to areas devastated by natural disasters in Armenia in 1988, Montserrat in 1997, Turkey 1998 and Iran in 2003.

More recently, Malcolm was heavily active in the setting up of Kent’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team – one of the UK’s first fully operational teams able to respond to a wide range of major and catastrophic incidents, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) events, search and rescue scenarios, major flooding and transport incidents – by becoming a USAR instructor.

USAR capability includes kit to lift, cut and remove concrete and rubble from collapsed structures along with sophisticated equipment for finding casualties. They also carry heavy duty cutters, spreaders, shoring and lifting equipment for use at major road traffic collisions.

In addition to the specialist skills needed to fulfil his USAR role, Malcolm is also highly qualified in rope (line) rescue and has been integral member of Kent’s line rescue team since its inception in 1992. As a result, Malcolm is among a handful of specialists that are qualified to assess and instruct the UK’s premier rope rescue teams.

Chief Fire Officer Bill Feeley said: “This award is thoroughly deserved and I'd like to extend both KFRS and my own personal congratulations to Malcolm. His work overseas in disaster zones and within the Kent community has no doubt saved many lives and his vast experience in both search and rescue and rope rescue has definitely helped shape and strengthen our operational response. His continued commitment, loyalty and service over the 39 years he has served have been both outstanding and exemplary.”

Mr Feeley will also be presenting the following staff with the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for 20 years of dedication to KFRS:

Canterbury Firefighter Mark Tottman
Medway Firefighter Timothy Ryan
Thanet Firefighter Ian Osborn
Thanet Firefighter Mark Lawrance
Station Manager (Operations, Service Headquarters Maidstone) Alf Gardner
Education Officer (Dover) Alan Faulkner
Training and Development Officer (Maidstone) Michael Dibley
Station Manager (CBRN Co-ordinator, Service Headquarters Maidstone) Mark Strand
Senior Technical Fire Safety Manager (East Division) Darren Harvey

Also receiving certificates for 20 years of Professional Long Service are:
Senior Human Resources Adviser Janet Watts (Service Headquarters, Maidstone)
Fire Safety Admin Officer Sandra Smith (Folkestone Fire Station)
South Division Admin Officer Pat Read (Maidstone)
Resources Manager Erika Lock (Maidstone)

Permalink: http://www.thesite.co.uk/viewnewsstory.asp?newsid=2678&placeid=142

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