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Former Kent firefighter awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal

Former Kent firefighter awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal

8 June 2019

Malcolm Cowie
Malcolm Cowie, left

Former Watch Manager Malcolm Cowie, believed to be the UK’s longest serving operational whole-time firefighter, has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.  

The 65-year-old, who hung up his helmet with Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) last year after joining at 16 and dedicating nearly 50 years of his life to the service, has received the Queen's Fire Service Medal.

KFRS Chief Executive Ann Millington said: “This is an outstanding achievement for Malcolm and is very well deserved indeed. Throughout his career, Malcolm was dedicated, incredibly hardworking and crucial in the setting up of Kent’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team - one of the UK’s first fully operational teams able to respond to a wide range of major and catastrophic incidents.

“Congratulations Malcolm on receiving the Queen’s Fire Service Medal – you really do deserve it.”

Malcolm Cowie, age 18, second from right
Malcolm Cowie, second from the right

Over his extensive career Malcolm attended thousands of incidents ranging from small fires and simple rescues to devastating explosions and international aid missions.  

Living in Deal, Malcolm was based at his local fire station for large sections of his career, but his role saw him posted to a number of different stations around the county, as well as abroad as part of his specialist UK International Search and Rescue work.

Over the years Malcolm’s dedication to the fire service didn’t go unrecogonised. In 2008 he was awarded the prestigious Kent medal - a rare accolade recognising outstanding service and commitment to Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) and the wider Kent community.

When Malcolm was asked to describe his time within the fire service he said: “Enjoyable, rewarding and not least, fun.”

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