FIREFIGHTERS who have served the Oxfordshire public for a combined total of more than two centuries have been honoured for their service.

Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medals were presented to station manager Guy Dunkley, group manager Grahame Mitchell, firefighter Mick Dunn, Watch manager Kevin Robbins, watch managers Andrew Hayes, Matt Smith and Dave Luke and station manager Paul Webster.

All had served for 20 years.

Pauline Hayton was also presented with a certificate for 20 years’ service and Clive Durbin for 30 years’ service.

They received recognition for their commitment at Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Community Safety’s annual achievement evening last week.

Chief fire officer David Etheridge said: “It is only right that we should acknowledge and recognise long service within Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue and it was fantastic to see families gather to watch their loved ones being awarded with their medals.

“The awarding of this medal indicates the high esteem in which the recipients are held by the authorities and the public and also expresses our gratitude for their honourable service and devotion to duty.

“All the people receiving the awards really deserve them, and should be proud because all together there was 210 years’ total service in the room, collectively an incredible amount of experience, commitment, bravery and endurance.”

Mr Mitchell, 41, who is based at Kidlington , received his long service medal having started with the fire service in April 1992.

He said: “I think because the fire service is a huge family it is really nice to get some recognition that we have each done 20 years of public service.

“I got back together with the people I joined with and it was lovely for us all to get together with all their families too.”

Other awards were given to George Day and Helen Head for exam success, and retained certificates for competent status were awarded to Paul Andrew, Nick Harris, Tomas Lucskai, Lisa Guntrip, Steven Henderson and Kevin Thorne. Witney was presented with the Retained Station of the Year, while Hook Norton, Wantage and Witney all were rewarded for being Retained Stations with 100% availability.

Wantage received an award for having an incredible 3,000 days of continuous availability.

Dan Pomfret from Banbury won Fire Cadet of the Year, while also nominated were Liam Chapman, Rhys Woodward and Zahra Khan.

James Butler from Watlington won Most Improved Fire Cadet of the Year, with other nominations coming in for Hope Miller, Thomas Humphries and Reiss Howard.

Finally, heroic members of the public Michael Kennedy Snr, Michael Kennedy Jnr, Bartosz Pytko and Artur Biegala, who rescued people trapped in dramatic fires received Chief Fire Officer’s Commendations.