Brackley firefighter honoured in Queen’s birthday list

One of the longest serving firefighters in the country has been awarded a BEM for services to the Fire Service and the community of Brackley.

Graham Ayres, 64, has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours which will be published tomorrow.

The British Empire Medal

The British Empire Medal

Mr Ayres began his fire fighting career in 1976 in Brackley and is still active today.

During that time he has been recognised for his bravery and received a commendation on March 30, 1981, for his efforts in the rescue of two casualties, during which the property on fire collapsed.

Mr Ayres has always been active in supporting the Brackley community and charities throughout his career. He has helped organised annual station open days and annual charity car washes.

●He has also championed the Firefighters charity, assisting with fundraising events which have generated around £3,500 per year, contributing to the £800,000 that Northamptonshire raise for that charity.

Mr Ayres has also found time to lead and organise campaigns, involving the fire station and Brackley community, to raise money for other causes including £1,000 for the tree of hope (raising money to send a child to the USA for treatment for a rare condition), £1,000 for the local air ambulance and £1,000 to buy a wheelchair for a local child in order to assist with his independence.

The medals will be presented at a future ceremony the date of which has yet to be confirmed.

Mr Ayres said: “I was quite shocked really. It probably won’t sink in until it happens.”