Firefighting family with nearly 100 years of service

A firefighting family from just across the Shropshire border has put in close on 100 years of service to the public.

The firefighting brothers
The firefighting brothers

Two members of the Vickress clan - brothers Michael and Dave - were recently rewarded for their long service at Leintwardine Fire Station.

Crew Commander Michael, who is usually known as Graham, was presented with a long service medal to mark 30 years with the fire and rescue service.

But his Watch Commander brother Dave can add 10 years on to that outstanding achievement as he received an award to mark 40 years’ service.

The family’s extraordinary contribution to Leintwardine Fire Station doesn’t end with Dave and Graham. Another brother, Robert, received his 20-year long service and good conduct medal back in 2019.

Dave said: “It has become something of a family tradition as my father served for 34 and a half years before his retirement in 1984 so we overlapped for a few years

“An uncle and other relatives have also served, too.

“I’ve attended a lot of major fires over the years including one at Bedstone College, several at the army camp at Moreton-on-Lugg as well as the fire in Hereford city centre back in 2010.

“It’s a good feeling to serve with my brothers and they are very good about accepting my authority when I have to give them orders!”

Jon Pryce, the HWFRS chief fire officer expressed his pride at the Herefordshire section of the annual Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service Medal and Awards Ceremony at Hereford Town Hall.

“I’m immensely proud to be here as Chief Fire Officer after two very challenging years,” he said.

“I am also immensely proud of what we have been able to achieve during those two years.

The medals and awards were presented by Fire Authority chairman Councillor Kit Taylor, the Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire Edward Harley OBE DL, the High Sheriff of Herefordshire Joanna Hilditch DL and CFO Pryce. Group Commander Gareth Clarke was the Master of Ceremonies.

The event was attended by the recipients, their friends and families, Paul Stevens the Mayor of Hereford and fire officers from HWFRS.

Other medals handed out for 20 years’ meritorious service included firefighters Christian Hill (Ledbury) and Clair Merriman (Bromyard).

Awards for 30 years of service went to watch commander Neil Fowler (West District) and watch commander Simon Halling (Bromyard).

A host of other awards also went to other firefighters across Herefordshire.

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