A retained Lincolnshire firefighter has been named in the New Year’s Honours list 2016.
Richard King, who has worked as a retained firefighter for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue for 23 years, has been given a British Empire Medal for his service to the community.
Primarily based at Long Sutton Fire Station, the dad-of-four has worked across the county in a variety of roles.
“When I received the letter, I was gobsmacked,” said the 47 year-old from Long Sutton. “I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing – it was totally unexpected.
“It is quite an honour just to have been nominated, let alone considered and awarded it.
“The citation reads ‘for services to the community’, but to me I have just done my job to the best of my capability.
“I’m very proud to have led the first crew on the ‘fire’ ambulance project. It has been such an interesting and rewarding time.
Since the project started, we’ve had over 700 calls – and I can say hand on heart that we’ve made a difference to every single person we’ve been to. With the right skills and emergency equipment we can make a real difference to our community – exactly what we are here to do!
“For example, just yesterday morning, my crew attended a lady who had suffered a cardiac arrest – and along with a paramedic – they used the defibrillator and managed to get her to Lincoln hospital, where she received life-saving treatment.
“I am very proud to serve with my crew and other crews from across Lincolnshire, so I will be accepting this great honour on behalf of them.
“On a personal level, it struck a chord with me, as my grandfather George received a similar award from the Queen many years ago for his bravery in the war, as well as his services to the community. He was a very special man.”
Mick Green, deputy chief fire officer at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “I’m delighted that Richard has been honoured in this way. He works tirelessly for his community, and has, without a doubt, saved many lives and improved the situations for many residents throughout his career.
“He played a key role in the ‘fire’ ambulance project – his energy and determination were key to making it a success. He has great relationships with local paramedics, taking every opportunity to learn from their broader clinical experience.
Their support has enabled him to apply his knowledge and skills in life threatening situations, to provide emergency care and ultimately improve the medical outcomes for residents.
“Richard is a highly valued member of our team.”