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Gordonstoun volunteer fire service receives royal recognition with Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Gordonstoun's volunteer Fire Service have been honoured with The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of their efforts.
Gordonstoun's volunteer Fire Service have been honoured with The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of their efforts.

Young Moray firefighters have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of their efforts.

Gordonstoun’s volunteer fire service is manned by both students and staff who respond to emergencies as part of the Scottish Fire and Rescue service.

The Elgin-based school is the only one in the UK to have its own fire service.

And the Queen has a personal connection with the school with her late husband Prince Philip a former student there as well as her children Prince Charles, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew and grandchildren.

The fire service was established by students in 1942 to help put out fires during the Second World War, and has continued ever since.

Most recently, students helped to put out a gorse fire and dampened down after a fire in an abandoned mill.

They also assist teams in extinguishing a fire at the Old mills in Elgin in February.

The school-based service is now one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups in line to receive the Queen’s accolade, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Gordonstoun is the only school in the UK to have its own fire service.

‘There is no better way of nurturing a sense of responsibility’

Principal of Gordonstoun, Lisa Kerr, said the service is vital for helping students to “learn the value of putting others before themselves.”

She added: “Gordonstoun’s Fire Service has helped the local community for 80 years, putting out hill fires, farm fires and pumping floodwater out of people’s homes.

“There is no better way of nurturing a sense of responsibility towards the community than by showing students the difference they can make at a young age and we are honoured to have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.”

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Student volunteer firefighter Fadheela Redpath is in her final year at Gordonstoun.

Students were called out to assist teams dealing with a fire at the Old Mills in Elgin back in February.

He says being a part of the service has inspired him and taught him how to be a team player.

“When I came to Gordonstoun the Fire Service was the only service I wanted to join because I felt it really gave me the opportunity to serve the local community, not to mention how cool it is to be trained to fight fires at age seventeen,” he said.

“I have learned how to be a team member from being in the Fire Service and I am learning to be more assertive, and I have had to learn to be louder.

“I am hoping to be able to be a volunteer firefighter when I leave Gordonstoun as I want to continue being part of the Fire Service.”

Area Commander Chay Ewing is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Local Senior Officer for Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray, added: “Volunteer firefighters are exceptional individuals who protect their communities when they are needed most and I would like to thank our volunteer firefighters at Gordonstoun for their dedication and commitment. They are a pleasure to work with.”

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