An on-call firefighter with over 40 years’ service has been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours list.

Steve Edginton, who joined Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service as an on-call firefighter in 1980, has been awarded the British Empire Medal.

Mr Edginton, from Burford, is a self-employed builder but will leave at a moment’s notice when an emergency call comes.

Over the years, he has responded to hundreds of calls, saving lives at many accidents and during other emergency incidents.

He said: “This is such an unexpected honour. I’m an on-call firefighter because I love the role, the responsibility, the opportunity to meet people and to play my part in keeping them safe, and because of the camaraderie among the crew at Burford Fire Station.

“I share this honour with my wife Sue who has always been tremendously supportive and has got used to me being whisked away to deal with a call.

“When we enjoy a quiet evening together or when we go out locally for an evening meal, we know our plans could be disrupted at any moment by my emergency pager.

"We’ve come to accept these ‘no notice’ interruptions, but I am, and always will be grateful for the understanding from Sue.”

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He remembers the day the local Bull Hotel in Burford caught fire in the 1980s.

He said: “My wife and I had just arrived back home from holidaying in Cornwall, so I wasn’t even on the on-call rota.

Steve Edginton, left, with colleague Charlie Williams (Image: Oxfordshire County Council)

“But hearing the commotion outside, I leaped into action, reporting to the duty officer at the scene.

"It was personal too - my wife’s manager and his children lived above the hotel.

“The fire completely gutted the building but thankfully no lives were lost.

"An incident so close to home makes you appreciate the role of fire and rescue and why I do what I do as an on-call officer.”

Mr Edginton is a long-time resident of Burford and is a popular face in the community. He was born in Burford but moved away before returning at the age of 18, building his own house.

He said he "reluctantly" joined the Fire and Rescue Service in September 1980 but now could not see himself not being an on-call firefighter.

"Back in the 80s there was a relative shortage of local people available to the service, so I thought I’d do my bit for the community and joined up [as an on-call firefighter at Burford], thinking little about it.

"Now, 40 four years later, I look back with pride and can say without a doubt it was the best decision I ever made."

Rob MacDougall, Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service’ Chief Fire Officer said: “Steve has delivered a first-class service to the community of Burford for over 40 years.

"He is a fantastic role model, and this honour is a fitting tribute to his dedication.”

Rosalind Richardson, from Chipping Norton, received an MBE for services to parliament.

Ms Richardson is a consultant counsellor, supervisor and trainer with a clinical background and a comprehensive understanding of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

She has had extensive hands-on experience within the public and the private sector for over 30 years.

She initially worked in general practice in Chipping Norton, and North Hertfordshire.

She then started to focus on work for a portfolio of clients.  She has worked with the House of Lords and the House of Commons for 20 years.

As an associate partner of Opus Health, her clients have included the National Portrait Gallery, the Building Research Establishment, Crowe, and Moonbug Entertainment. She also has a private practice.

Rosalind Richardson MBE (Image: Contributed)

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Welfare, a Companion of Welfare, a Fellow of the Society of Bereavement Practitioners, and a senior accredited Member of BACP.

She is passionate that counselling can positively change lives and it should be available for all.

Ms Richardson and her husband live in Chipping Norton where she is a proactive member of Burford and Kingham Rotary.

She said she was "absolutely delighted to receive this award".

Tom Ciesco, from Witney, an Atlas Performance Engineer at Airbus UK Ltd, also received an MBE for services to the Royal Air Force.