Honour at the palace for Caythorpe firefighter

Neil Fritzsche receives his Fire Service Medal from the Queen.

Neil Fritzsche receives his Fire Service Medal from the Queen.

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A fireman from Caythorpe has received a medal from the Queen in recognition of 38 years of service.

Neil Fritzsche was presented with the prestigious Queen’s Fire Service Medal at Buckingham Palace after being named in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee birthday honours list earlier this year.

Mr Fritzsche said: “It went fantastic. I feel very honoured and appreciated. Not many of these medals are handed out.”

In 1990, Mr Fritzsche helped form the UK’s first search and rescue team and also oversaw the development of Lincolnshire’s Urban Search and Rescue team, considered one of the country’s best.

In 2011, he commanded the international response to the devastating tsunami that hit Japan and led the search and rescue team in the face of aftershocks, extreme cold weather and the risk of nuradiation from crippled power stations.

Mr Fritzsche was also recognised in the BBC 999 Awards in August.

He said: “Although I have been personally recognised, it is all about teamwork. You can’t achieve anything on your own, you need a good team - and that’s what we have here in Lincolnshire.”