The outstanding contribution of four inspirational Scottish Fire and Rescue Service figures has been recognised as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Operations Control Area Manager Libby Logan, long-serving retained firefighter Rosemary Curtis and recently-retired Local Senior Officer David Rout have all been awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal.
And retired Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Ally Boyle has also been appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE).
SFRS Chief Officer Alasdair Hay paid tribute to all four recipients.
He said: "The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service sits where it does today thanks to the unstinting professionalism and dedication of all of its people.
“Many of our staff regularly go above and beyond what is expected of them and awards of this calibre only go to show that this dedication is recognised by peers and, indeed, local communities.
“I would like to take this opportunity to extend my very sincere congratulations to Libby, David, Rosemary and Ally - and to thank them for the outstanding commitment they have displayed throughout their careers.”
Area Manager Libby Logan
Area Manager Libby Logan has stood on Scotland’s unseen frontline for more than 25 years.
The experienced Operations Control firefighter joined the former Strathclyde service in 1992 in Johnstone Control before moving to Tayside and Dundee Control in 1995.
In 2009, AM Logan was promoted to Station Manager for Tayside; just three years later she became part of the project group which initiated the reform of Operations Control in the region - ahead of the creation of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
AM Logan went on to become temporary Group Manager for the North of Scotland Operations Control before joining the SFRS Command and Control Futures Project Team.
She became Area Manager for all three of Scotland’s Operations Controls in May 2018.
Libby said: “This award isn’t about me - it is about control as a whole. Any reward or recognition I receive has only been possible thanks to the hard work of a much larger team.
“Obviously it is incredible to be recognised, and I was absolutely astounded when I received the letter.
“I am incredibly humbled – for me it’s about the bigger team and the incredible professionals I work with.”It is quite unreal and very nice to be recognised, but I am one of many. I could not have done this if I didn’t have a great team behind me.
Watch Manager Rosemary Curtis
Dedicated Rosemary Curtis has helped protect her Highland community for two decades.
Watch Manager Curtis signed up as a retained firefighter in October 1998 and served as a frontline firefighter before becoming a Crew Manager and then progressing to the rank of Watch Manager.
She lives in the remote Highland village of Kilchoan, which is located on the Ardnamurchan peninsula - the most westerly village in mainland Britain.
Being selected for a QFSM has left the experienced firefighter “gobsmacked”.
WM Curtis said: “When I got the letter I thought: ‘Is this for real?’ It’s quite hard to take in!
“This is for every retained firefighter – they all give up the same time and make the same commitment.
“It is quite unreal and very nice to be recognised, but I am one of many. I could not have done this if I didn’t have a great team behind me.
“We just want to keep communities safe and help them - you do what’s best for your community.”
Retired Local Senior Officer David Rout
The former LSO who retired earlier this year has been awarded the QFSM for 33 years of distinguished service.
His fire service career began in Lothian and Borders , in his former hometown of Melrose, where he worked as a retained firefighter for almost three years before joining Grampian Fire Service in February 1988 as a wholetime firefighter.
When the national service was formed in 2013, the veteran firefighter was appointed to Local Senior Officer for Aberdeenshire and Moray.
He was also instrumental in the SFRS’s Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) trials, awarded the Campbell Christie Public Service Reform Award at the Scottish Public Sector Awards.
Commenting on his QFSM, he said: “As a young boy I used to visit the local fire station and enjoy a cup of tea with the firefighters and I never imagined I would be receiving such recognition for a vocation I have been absolutely committed to over the years. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and it has provided me with some fantastic opportunities in life.
“It goes without saying I couldn’t have achieved so much without the great support of family, friends and colleagues.”
He added: “The OHCA project allowed me to work with people from all over Scotland, contributing to saving lives and leave a legacy as part of service transformation and redesign, something I am extremely proud of.”
Retired Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Ally Boyle
Retired Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Ally Boyle has been appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE).
Ally’s award comes in recognition of his efforts to save lives through a partnership he established between the SFRS and blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan.
Ally was diagnosed with a blood cancer (Myelodysplasia) in 2008, a progressive condition for which the only, potential, cure is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.
Despite his diagnosis, Ally went on to create a joint initiative between the SFRS and Anthony Nolan to educate members of the public on the benefits of becoming a stem cell donor.
Through the efforts of Ally and countless volunteers, 11,000 people have been added to the stem cell register.
Sadly, due to his worsening health, Ally was retired from the SFRS in April 2014.
He Ally said: “I’m not someone who is often found short of words, but this really has left me speechless.
“I am incredibly proud and honoured to receive this award and I accept it in the knowledge that it is recognition for something that all the SFRS volunteers have achieved together.
“Being in the fire service taught me that there is always something you can do to help others but, most importantly, it showed me that working together there is almost nothing that can’t be accomplished. The partnership is a fantastic example of just that.”