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Award for Lincolnshire’s real-life hero

A Lincolnshire firefighter has been honoured at a national awards ceremony celebrating the efforts of Britain’s emergency services.

Neil Fritzsche from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue was one of the winners at the first BBC 999 Awards, announced during a programme presented by Lenny Henry and Kirsty Young on BBC One on Thursday.

He received a Special Recognition Award, given to those who have performed beyond the call of duty in exceptional circumstances.

Neil said: “I am proud and honoured to receive this award. But being part of the emergency services is not about individuals, it’s about teamwork, and I have worked in and with some of the best teams in the world during my career.

“On behalf of Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, I am very proud of all our accomplishments here in the UK and abroad.”

After 37-years-long career with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, Neil plans to retire from the service next year.

He joined the fire service in 1975 as a retained firefighter. Over the years he has worked his way up the ladder to area manager responsible for response, managing the county’s firefighting capabilities.

Neil was also a founding member of Lincolnshire’s Urban Search and Rescue Team and helped the development of the UK International Search and Rescue Team, helping save many lives around the world.

Cllr Peter Robinson, Executive Member for Community Safety, Cohesion and Diversity, said: “Neil has devoted his entire career to keeping people safe.

“During his time with Fire and Rescue, Neil has demonstrated selfless dedication and a sense of public service. He’s played a vital role in responding to numerous major incidents, and his presence is always reassuring, his impact, invariably positive.”

Earlier this year, Neil was also awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal, which is presented to members of the UK or Commonwealth Fire Services for distinguished service or gallantry.

Lisa Harrison from East Midlands Ambulance Service also received an award for helping save the life of a one-year-old Lincolnshire boy who fell into a pond. She spent 17 minutes on the phone instructing the father through giving a heart massage to revive his son.

Source: Lincolnshire County Council