Two members of staff receive New Year Honours

Fri 29 Dec, 2017

Two members of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's staff have been recognised in the 2018 New Year's Honours list, which was published this evening.

They are Lynne Swift, Director of People and Organisational Development, who has been made an OBE for services to the fire and rescue service, and Terry Ridgley, Welfare Support Officer, who receives a British Empire Medal for services to the fire and rescue service and The Fire Fighters Charity. Both work at Headquarters in Aylesbury.

Lynne grew up in Barnsley as a member of a coal-mining family and has had a wide-ranging career spanning more than 40 years. During this time she has worked in a variety of sectors, including food manufacturing, social care, social housing and currently the fire and rescue service.

She has served in a number of senior management and director roles in operations, commercial management, programme management and more recently directing Human Resources and organisational change programmes.

Lynne joined Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority in July 2010 to shape and deliver the organisation’s modernisation agenda. She is committed to promoting the Fire Authority's vision and values and to continuous improvement of workforce standards and community services through engaging with people. She is also passionate about supporting people to help them develop their skills, knowledge and confidence and to unlock their potential.

Lynne said: “Although the honour is in my name, it is an honour for Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service which recognises everyone’s contribution to making Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes the safest areas in England in which to live, work and travel. It is a proud and humbling experience at the same time.”

Terry joined Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service as an 18-year-old in 1976 and served in operational roles at High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Beaconsfield and Headquarters. He was a Group Commander and head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's community safety team when he retired from operational service in 2011 and took up his current position as a member of support staff.

Terry’s role includes providing support to current and retired members of the organisation and their families through a range of different and difficult circumstances. He makes himself available to chat on the phone and visits people in their homes, in hospital, in treatment centres and in hospices.

Terry supports families through bereavement by assisting with funeral arrangements and supporting them through a range of personal, housing, financial and legal matters. He makes sure he stays in touch with people after everything has been resolved to remain a vital point of contact and assurance that Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service cares for its past and present staff.

He has recently been recognised for 40 years' service to The Fire Fighters Charity, during which time he has supported numerous fundraising events 

Terry said: "It is a great honour to receive the British Empire Medal for my work in the fire and rescue service, which is very much about helping people in operational and support roles.

"It is very humbling to be recognised in this way and something which I will always treasure."

Chief Fire Officer Jason Thelwell QFSM said: “We are one of the smallest fire and rescue services in the country, but we always make a huge effort to be up there with the best.

“To be recognised twice in the New Year's Honours makes this an extraordinarily special day for Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service.
“Lynne and Terry work tirelessly for our community and make a difference to people’s lives every day. I am immensely proud that we have hundreds of people who do the same in our fire and rescue service. These honours are a recognition of them all.”