999 award for firefighter Neil

Award winnier: Neil Fritzsche
Award winnier: Neil Fritzsche

A MARKET Rasen man who has saved hundreds of lives across the world has been honoured in a national awards ceremony.

Neil Fritzsche from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue was one of the winners at the very first BBC 999 Awards last week, designed to recognise the tireless work of Britain’s emergency services.

Neil received a Special Recognition Award, given to those who have performed beyond the call of duty in exceptional circumstances.

“I am proud and honoured to receive this award, “said Neil.

“But being part of the emergency services is not about individuals, it’s about teamwork, and I have worked in and with some of the best teams in the world during my career.

“On behalf of Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, I am very proud of all our accomplishments here in the UK and abroad.”

Born and brought up in Market Rasen, Neil joined the fire service in 1975 as a retained firefighter.

Over the years he has worked his way up the ladder to area manager responsible for response, managing the county’s firefighting capabilities.

As well as spending 37 years protecting the communities of Lincolnshire, Neil has also lent his expertise to numerous rescue operations all over the world..

He was a founding member of Lincolnshire’s Urban Search and Rescue Team and played a pivotal role in the development of the UK International Search and Rescue Team, helping to save many lives.

Earlier this year, Neil was awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal, presented to members of the UK or Commonwealth Fire Services for distinguished service or gallantry.

After a long career with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, Neil plans to retire from the service next year.