Notts' longest serving firefighter to receive MBE tomorrow
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service’s longest-serving firefighter will receive an MBE at Buckingham Palace tomorrow.
Dave Beardsall, who is known as Barney, will be presented with the honour by either The Queen or The Prince of Wales and will then go on to the House of Commons where he is hoping to have lunch with his MP, John Mann.
Barney was appointed MBE in the New Year Honours List for services to local government.
Barney said he was shocked to have been picked for the honours list.
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He said: “I will always remember that morning in November – the postman arrives and delivers all the usual junk mail but there in the middle of it is a white envelope with the words On Her Majesty’s Service at the top and Cabinet Office at the bottom.
“‘What’s this?’ I thought and carefully opened it. You can’t imagine my surprise when I read it. I couldn’t believe I had been nominated for an MBE - surprised, speechless, over the moon and so extremely proud to have been honoured in this way.”
Barney couldn’t tell anyone about his nomination due to confidence rules until late December.
He added: “Since the announcement of my award, I have been stopped in the street many times and congratulated by people who have told me I deserve the honour and they appreciate my achievements.”
Barney retired as Watch Manager with Retford’s retained section in July last year after 43 years, but continues to represent the Service as a member of its Ceremonial Squad and as one of two Retained Support Officers.
He says: “I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped, guided and supported me, in particular the crew both past and present at Retford, who have been like my adopted family. But the biggest thank you of all must go to my family.”
There are many incidents that remain in Barney’s memory from his 43 years of service, including an explosion at the Nypro (UK) site in Flixborough in June 1974, where 28 workers were killed and a further 36 were injured, and an incident on Christmas Eve 1976, in Ollerton, where members of a Retford crew were badly injured while fighting a building fire.
Barney has also represented Nottinghamshire’s retained firefighters on various regional and national forums and has had valuable input into recruitment and selection processes.