A SCHOOL and a prison have been recognised for helping to power Dorset's emergency fire response.

Both HMP Portland and Sherborne Girls School have received awards from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service in recognition of their support to on-call firefighters.

HMP Portland has released staff for fire calls over many years and is the employer of Daniel Terrey, station commander at Portland Fire Station.

Dorset Echo: From left to right: Matt Bland from sponsor Kubus, Nigel Duggan from HMP Portland, and Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell.From left to right: Matt Bland from sponsor Kubus, Nigel Duggan from HMP Portland, and Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell. (Image: Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue)

The award was collected by Nigel Duggan, from the prison’s management team.

Sherborne Girls School was recognised for allowing two members of staff to respond to fire calls from work, and the award was collected by its headteacher, Dr Ruth Sullivan.

The presentations were made at the service’s annual awards ceremony on Thursday, April 18 by chief fire officer Ben Ansell, and Matt Bland, client director at sponsor Kubus.

Mr Bland said: “It is an honour for Kubus to continue our relationship with DWFRS, who give so much to our communities.”

Assistant chief fire officer Andy Cole said: “These awards are very well deserved.

"These two employers have allowed our firefighters time for training and provided flexibility in working hours.

"In return, the staff have used their knowledge and expertise in areas such as fire marshal duties, first aid, and guidance with risk assessments.

"The communities of Portland and Sherborne have benefited greatly from their support of their local fire stations.”

The awards ceremony also recognised staff achieving 20, 30 and 40 years of public service.

There were also presentations of Chief Fire Officer’s Commendations, recognising meritorious conduct above and beyond the call of duty, and a number of other awards.

Weymouth councillor Pete Barrow was also among those receiving awards for 39 years' of "outstanding commitment" as a fireman and councillor.

Chief fire officer Ansell said: “We have a service to be proud of, and the awards ceremony is one way in which we celebrate the dedication of staff from across the organisation."

He added: “As well as honouring the achievements of our staff, it is always an opportunity to give personal thanks to the families and friends who have supported them and the work of our service.

"We also recognise the on-call employers who are so essential to us being able to provide our emergency response. It is often this support that has enabled the quite outstanding achievements to take place.”