MBE honour for Retford retained firefighter

A DEDICATED and selfless Retford retained firefighter has been awarded an MBE for his service and commitment to the community for 43 years.

David Beardsall, known also as Barney to his colleagues, said he was thrilled to hear he had received the prestigious honour after a ‘wonderful’ year.

It’s a double accolade for the 62-year-old who was presented with the Notts Fire and Rescue (NFRS) Service Outstanding Public Service award in November.

“I feel very proud to think that someone has nominated me for this special award - it really is the icing on the cake for me,” he said.

“It has been an amazing year - celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary with my wife Susan and retiring from the service after more than 40 years.”

“It is also a great honour to have been recognised by Bassetlaw, then Notts Fire and Rescue Service and now by the Cabinet - I am extremely touched.”

David joined NFRS in 1969 and to date remains the longest serving officer within the service - serving for a total of 43 years.

He was watch manager for over 30 of those years and was also called on to be officer in charge at Tuxford in 2004 and later at Edwinstowe in 2009.

David retired officially from operational duties in July last year but continues to be a retained support officer, advising other retained firefighters in the county.

He also continues to represent NFRS as a member of the Ceremonial Squad - attending civic functions across the county and beyond.

As well as balancing job demands - David worked for the first 33 years of his career full-time at Cottam Power Station and later High Marnham Power Stations - he has also engaged widely in community safety, charity and issues affecting retained firefighters.

He is a champion of the Making All Children Safe (MACS) initiative, now in its 14th year, and has taken the lead in ensuring over 5,000 children know about key safety issues in and outside the home.

“I don’t accept credit for doing this on my own - I work closely with two other colleagues to hold MACS events for Year 6 pupils in many schools,” he said.

“It must work because the number of youngsters we get coming to us as teenagers who tell me they remember us from the MACS workshops - it’s really great to hear that.”

David said his MBE has come at the end of a fantastic 43 years’ service which have included representing NFRS at the Remembrance Parade at Whitehall and meeting Prince Charles and Princess Diana when they came to visit the county.

“There’s been some bad and some sad times but also many great times and when you put them all together, that’s life,” he said.

“It has been a fantastic job - the satisfaction has always been there and I have made some great friend and colleagues along the way.”