Firefighter honoured

Honoured at the palace: Banchory station manager Roddy Lees receives his QFSM
Honoured at the palace: Banchory station manager Roddy Lees receives his QFSM

A Banchory firefighter recently travelled to Buckingham Palace to receive a medal from HRH Prince Charles for distinguished service.

Roddy Lees, watch manager at Banchory Fire Station, was named in the Queen’s birthday honours list back in June. And on Friday, December 18, he travelled down to London with his wife and two of his children to be presented with the Queen’s Service Fire Medal (QSFM) by HRH Prince Charles - awarded to members of the fire service for distinguished service or gallantry.

“It was a great honour,” said Roddy. “It was fantastic to go down and spend the day at Buckingham Palace. We were all treated fantastically.”

Roddy was one of only three members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service named on the list in June, and the only member who attended the ceremony on December 18. He received his award alongside members of the police and various orders of the British Empire and Knights, including Sir Vince Cable.

When asked why he thought he’d been nominated, the Banchory station manager modestly replied: “That’s something I’m not too sure about to be honest.” But further questioning led to talk of his charity and voluntary work.

He said: “I’ve done a lot of voluntary work on a project called First on Scene - I led on it and it teaches young people what to do in case of emergency.”

Stuart Cruickshank, Roddy’s immediate superior, said: “Roddy is a well-respected officer, not only within Banchory fire station but also across the local area, which is a testimony to his character.

“He has a positive and professional approach to the role and receives support from the personnel on the fire station as well as providing support to myself. He has led the station to hold various fund raising events such as annual open days as well as the festive Christmas collections which have been well supported by the community raising money for local charities and good causes.”