FIREFIGHTERS who have served the community for a combined 140 years have been recognised with awards.
Five crew members from Worthing fire station, in Ardsheal Road, were given medals to mark a milestone 20 years in the service, while one medal was given for 40 years.
Richard Bradley, from Steyning, Joe Bullingham, from Partridge Green, Richard Jones, from Worthing, Darren Wickings, from Ashington, and Neil Wiseman, from Goring, all received the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, with John Bishop, from Worthing, receiving the Meritorious Service Medal for his four decades.
Mr Bullingham, 40, Red Watch manager, said: “I was one of those children who saw the fire engine go past and said they wanted to be a fireman. The worrying thing is that I can see myself making it to 40 years.
“It has been good fun serving the community.”
The medals were presented by Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, Susan Pyper, at a ceremony at Arundel Castle,
It is not an automatic award, and is presented only if the recipient’s character and conduct has been worthy throughout the year.
Group station manager for Worthing Roy Barraclough said it was important to recognise the excellent work of the firefighters.
He said: “It was a really nice ceremony, and a recognition of their service to the community, which is always good to be part of.
“To have 140 years of service between them is great.”
Mr Barraclough hailed the work of Mr Bishop, who joined the fire service as a retained firefighter and service van engineer in 1972.
He said: “He works as one of the mechanics now, fixing fire engines. He has seen a lot of changes in engineering terms, and he is still there fixing them.
“Fire engines have to start every time – you can’t have one that doesn’t work when you need it.”