Tetbury firefighter Mike Houghton lands BEM award on the Queen's New Years Honours list for 2014

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Mike Houghton Mike Houghton

FOR almost 50 years a Tetbury firefighter gave his dedicated service to the fire service – and now just weeks after retiring he has been rewarded for his hard work by being recognised in the Queen’s New Years Honours List for 2014.

Mike Houghton, who served with Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service since he was a 16-year-old cadet, is set to receive a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his contributions to the service and the community in Tetbury.

““I worked for them for 47 years. It was a job that I always wanted to do and it was a job that I loved doing. I worked with a lot of wonderful people and it was a great career. I certainly didn’t do it for any recognition,” said Mike.

"It was quite an honour to hear and a shock. I was very surprised, I had a letter back in November to hear that I had been nominated and that was the first that I had heard. ”

Mike is expected to receive his BEM medal at a local ceremony next year and will also attend a service at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen.

Geoff Sallis, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This recognition of Mike’s remarkable service is very well deserved. Mike has exceptional fire fighting skills and knowledge, which he has shared with staff at Tetbury station, making a real difference to new recruits. He formed part of the first crew which developed co-responding to medical emergencies to support the ambulance service in local communities too.”

It was at Patchway Fire Station where Mike started his career in 1964, before having a short spell at Tetbury and then moving to Stroud Fire Station in the early 1970s.

In 1998 he headed back home for a 15-year stint working as a retained fire fighter in Tetbury, before hanging up his uniform for good on Thursday, December 12.

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