8 Fire & Rescue Service personnel from Limerick with a combined service record of 170 years have been honoured at the annual National Long Service Awards Ceremony held at the weekend.
Edmond Dollery, a Firefighter with Rathkeale Fire Brigade received a 30-Year Service Award, while an additional 7 other Service members were in receipt of 20-Year Awards.
They include Limerick County Chief Fire Officer Carmel Kirby and Limerick City Chief Fire Officer Michael Ryan, as well as Des Normoyle (Newcastle West Station Officer), Denis Joy (Abbeyfeale Station Officer), John O’Connell (Driver Mechanic, Cappamore), and John Denning (Sub Officer) and Paul Knapp (Firefighter) of Limerick City Fire Service.
The National Long Service Awards scheme is administered on the Minister’s behalf by the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management. The award in recognition of 20 years’ service takes the form of a medal bearing the traditional logo representation of the fire service – a helmet and crossed axes; the medal ribbon bears the Irish national colours, with a central column in red to represent the fire service. The 30 years’ award received by Edmond Dollery is a representation of a flame in emblematic form. Both awards are accompanied by an appropriate certificate.
Presenting the awards, Fergal O’Dowd T.D., Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, stated that awards scheme is the State’s way of honouring local authority fire service personnel for “being there over all the years, for being prepared to respond to calls for help, at all times, and in all weathers.”
The Minister commended the fire service for coping with an ever more diverse and complex range of challenges and referred to the role of continuous training in helping firefighters carry out tasks safely. “The training which fire service personnel undergo, is key to your ability to meet these ever-changing challenges” he added.
According to Carmel Kirby, Limerick County Chief Fire Officer: “Limerick County Fire and Rescue Service has a proud tradition of Service to the people of Limerick. The roles and responsibilities of Service staff are many and varied. Therefore, continuous training is required to ensure the Service responds to and deals with emergency and rescue incidents with maximum efficiency.”
Congratulating the recipients of awards, Limerick City Chief Fire Officer Michael Ryan said: “The commitment and professionalism of these long serving fire fighters is indicative of the highly experienced personnel employed by the Fire Service here in Limerick and indeed, around the country.”