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Service awards honour for two Co Armagh Fire and Rescue staff

Noel and son Jack

Two Co Armagh members of the NI Fire and Rescue Service have been presented with 20-year long service awards.

They are Crew Commander Noel Mullen, who is based in Lurgan, and Ruth-Anne Freeburn, an administrator based in Southern Area Command HQ in Portadown.

The pair were among 105 employees from Southern Area Command honoured at Craigavon Civic Centre. The command area covers Armagh and most of Co Down.

Ruth-Anne Freeburn with her mother Mavis

The ceremony was attended by NIFRS chief fire and rescue officer Aidan Jennings and chairperson of the NIFRS Board Jay Colville.

The awards were presented by Simon Cassells, Deputy Lieutenant of County Armagh.

The awards recognise employees in both operational and support roles with Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service. 

The Southern Area Command ceremony saw 52 20-year service medals, 39 30-year clasps and five  40-year clasps presented to operational employees, as well as nine awards being presented to support employees.

NIFRS Southern Area Commander Dermot Rooney said: “Every colleague receiving their Long Service and Good Conduct Award has made an invaluable contribution to our organisation and the service we provide to the public, so this is an important event for all of those recognised.

“We also recognise and greatly value the support that families provide for our staff, especially for our operational staff in preparation for and in the aftermath of the difficult, demanding and often dangerous work they do in protecting the public.

“We were honoured at this awards ceremony to welcome the family of our much missed colleague Stephen Barr, who tragically passed away at the age of 58 earlier this year.

“Stephen was Watch Commander at Ballynahinch Fire Station and so it was a poignant moment to see his wife Cindy, daughter Stephanie and son Jason presented with his clasp for 30 years of service. Stephen at the time of his passing had almost 40 years’ service, all of it at Ballynahinch and 27 years of it as Sub-Officer/Watch Commander.”

NIFRS Chief Fire & Rescue Officer Aidan Jennings added: “As Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, it is my privilege to publicly recognise our employees across Southern Area Command and to thank them for dedicated years of service in keeping people safe.”

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