TWO Aberystwyth-based firefighters have been recognised for 20 years of service and their “outstanding commitment”.
Retained crew manager Nigel Bowden and full-time station manager Mathew Roberts, who have both dedicated over 20 years to the fire service, were awarded the Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal by Divisional Commander for Ceredigion and Powys, Craig Thomas.
Both Nigel and Mathew joined the fire service in 1999 on the same training course for retained firefighters.
While Nigel decided to remain a retained firefighter, Mathew went on to work full-time for the fire service.
Nigel said: “I feel very honoured to receive my long service medal, who would have known I would still be serving my community in this way 20-plus years on.”
This is Nigel’s second medal, after he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, which was created in 2012 and awarded to those who had completed five years of service by 6 February 2012.
Nigel said he joined the fire crew after hearing about their recruitment drive from a friend.
He said: “A friend told me they were recruiting for retained firefighters (on call) in Aber. So I just called in on my way home and spoke to a station manager.
“I like what I heard about being part of a team and helping my community and being there for people in their time of need. The rest is history.”
Both Mathew and Nigel said there are many high and low points in the career of a firefighter.
“There are many high points. I’ve been able to help so many people and save lives,” Nigel said.
“It’s always a team effort and I work with great colleagues. After one incident I was awarded a commendation from our chief, but the real icing on the cake was meeting up with the family we saved.
“A low point was the passing of one of my mentors and friends, Robbie Jones, last year.”
In a Facebook post, Aberystwyth Fire Station said a “big congratulations” to the firemen who were acknowledged for their “outstanding commitment of over 20 years of service to Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service”.