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Preston NHS and fire service leaders make New Year Honours list

Posted on - 1st January, 2022 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - People, Preston News, Proud Preston
Kevin McGee Pic: Lancashire Teaching Hospitals
Kevin said he feels ‘very blessed’ Pic: Lancashire Teaching Hospitals

Leaders from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.

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Kevin McGee, Chief Executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, has been named for his services to the NHS.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: “Congratulations to our Chief Executive Kevin McGee who has been named OBE in the New Year Honours list for his services to the NHS.

“We are all very proud of you and your commitment to system working in the best interests of patients across our Lancashire and South Cumbria!”

In response to the announcement Kevin tweeted: “Feel very blessed to receive such an honour, thank you to all colleagues both current and past, this really is a reflection of your support and guidance.

“Thank you to friends and colleagues for your kind words.”

Crew Manager Lindsay Sielski and Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnson were recognised for their work in the fire and rescue service community.

Lindsay, who works in the service’s Response and Emergency Planning team, has been awarded a British Empire Medal for her work in providing innovative ways of working with dogs in the fire and rescue service sector.

Lindsay has adopted dogs and through her dedication and training, they have qualified as International Search and Rescue dogs. Davey B was trained in only 15 months to become a search dog, while Louie became the first cadaver fire dog in the country.

Lindsay Sielski Pic: LFRS
Lindsay said her award was ‘really unexpected’ Pic: LFRS

Lindsay’s work has been noticed by other fire and rescue services and she has provided training to many services across the country.

While working alongside fire and rescue services, Lindsay has also built great relationships alongside partner agencies, like Lancashire Constabulary where the dogs are deployed as part of a multi-agency incident or to find a missing person.

Lindsay said of her award: “It was amazing to find out that I have been awarded a British Empire Medal, it was really unexpected. I love working with the dogs and I wouldn’t be in the position to receive the award without the support of my colleagues.

“The work that I do involves a team of people and between us all we have helped develop these dogs and help make the people of Lancashire safer.”

Read more: Preston therapy dog Jasper visits House of Lords to receive honour

Justin, who has been at the forefront of innovation and health and wellbeing initiatives in the fire and rescue services sector over the last 10 years, has been awarded a Queen Fire Service Medal.

Justin is the National Fire Chief Council’s Vice Chair and has served as their lead for drones. He has also been the Chair of FireFit where he has raised awareness of mental health across the fire service community.

Justin Johnston Pic: LFRS
Justin is ‘proud and honoured’ Pic: LFRS

Justin has an exceptional track record of strategic roles in major incidents of national significance in addition to the Winter Hill moorland fire response and severe flooding in Lancashire. He was involved in the Buncefield oil storage facility incident in December 2005 and the Derrick Bird shooting in Cumbria in June 2010.

More recently, under Justin’s leadership, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service became the first fire and rescue service in the country to have staff trained as Covid-19 vaccinators. This has resulted in the service supporting over 500,000 vaccinations across the county in the last 12 months.

Read more: Prestonians urged to get their Covid vaccines to help in the fight against Omicron

Justin said: “I am very proud and honoured to have been recognised for my work within the fire and rescue service community over the last 25 years.

“I could not have achieved this award without the support of my colleagues in Lancashire and my colleagues at the National Fire Chiefs Council and FireFit. Together, we are continuing to make a positive difference to the communities that we serve.”

Read more: Two people rescued from fire at Broughton premises

Lancashire Combined Fire Authority Chairman, County Councillor David O’Toole said: “I am delighted that Lindsay and Justin have been awarded these prestigious and well-deserved awards. Their hard work, dedication and innovation have seen the service continue to go from strength to strength.”

Every year the New Year Honours list recognises the dedication of people for their outstanding achievement or service at home or abroad.


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Do you know any of the recipients of the awards? Let us know in the comments.

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