By Paige Warman
The former Chief Fire Officer of Wiltshire, Simon Routh-Jones, has been presented with the Queen’s Fire Service Medal.
He received his honour on Tuesday (12 July) from HRH The Princess Royal at an investiture held at Windsor Castle. It was bestowed upon him in the 2016 New Year Honours List.
Simon spent the whole of his 37 year career with Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, joining in 1979 as a probationer firefighter in Salisbury and rising through the Service. He was appointed as Chief Fire Officer in 2011, and retired on 31 March this year when the Service combined with neighbouring Dorset and Fire Rescue Service.
He said: “This award is down to those who have supported me throughout my career, including my family, friends, colleagues, Fire Authority members, the wider Fire Service family and those who I worked with within our local authorities and communities. It has been a great privilege and honour to receive such an accolade and is a tribute to everyone who has shared this journey with me. I am truly grateful and very humbled.”
Darran Gunter, Chief Fire Officer of Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “During the journey to combination, Simon and I became good friends, and I was delighted that he received the Queen’s Fire Service Medal before his retirement. It is unusual for a person to progress from firefighter to Chief Fire Officer within the Service where they started their career. Simon dedicated himself with unbroken commitment to the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon for 37 years, so this honour is richly deserved.”
Councillor Rebecca Knox, Chairman of Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority said: “Simon has the warmest congratulations of the whole Fire Authority in receiving his Queen’s Fire Service Medal, which is just reward for an outstanding career serving the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon. His professionalism working towards our combined service was very much valued.”