Surrey’s Chief Fire Officer, Russell Pearson, was presented with the Queen’s Fire Service Medal in the New Year Honours.

The medal is awarded for 'acts of exceptional courage and skill at the cost of their lives' or for the 'exhibition of conspicuous devotion to duty'.

Mr Pearson joined Surrey Fire and Rescue Service in 1992 and became Chief Fire Officer – the highest rank in the fire and rescue service – in 2007.

David Hodge, leader of Surrey County Council, said: “We’re delighted that Russell’s outstanding contribution over 25 years has been rewarded with the Queen’s Fire Service Medal.

“We’d like to thank him for his dedicated leadership of the service and congratulate him on this honour which is a tribute to his hard work and that of the firefighters who support him in serving Surrey’s communities.”

Nick Hurd, minister for policing and the fire service, said: “Over his ten-year tenure as Chief Fire Officer at Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, Russell Pearson has shown outstanding leadership and dedication to the Fire Service.

“In both his professional and voluntary service, Russell has introduced innovation and growth, and I thank him for his professionalism and service.”