14 June 2024

Fire service boss and senior policewoman among personnel recognised by King

14 June 2024

Several members of Scotland’s emergency services, including the head of the fire service, have been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours.

Medals recognising distinguished service were awarded to six people in Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Ross Haggart, chief officer of the fire service, received the King’s Fire Service Medal.

He was appointed as interim chief officer in July 2022 and took up the role on a permanent basis in March last year.

His career began at Fife Fire Brigade in 1994 and he went on to become part of the team developing options for what would become the SFRS.

Mr Haggart has managed many serious incidents throughout his career and he was the most senior officer in attendance at the Stonehaven rail disaster in August 2020.

Gary Carroll, a crew commander with SFRS, also received the medal after more than 30 years of service.

He was sent to the Stockline plastics explosion in Glasgow in 2004 and gained experience in search and rescue dog handling, going on to be deployed in several disaster areas around the world.

Firefighter Lorraine Taylor also received the honour.

After 31 years of service, Ms Taylor is now believed to be the longest serving female firefighter in Scotland.

She is also the diversity champion for the SFRS “on call” stations, regularly taking part in events aimed at recruiting more women.

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Catriona Paton received the King’s Police Medal.

She has volunteered as a negotiator for 16 years and has been deployed to incidents including suicide interventions, sieges, kidnap and extortion cases.

She said: “I believe I have been called to serve and policing has and continues to provide me with the greatest opportunities to connect and positively influence and support those in need.

“I count it a privilege to have such a challenging and rewarding job.

“Receiving an honour from His Majesty the King is a great honour but it is also humbling given policing is predicated on working together with colleagues, partners and communities, and therefore this award is testament to the guidance and support I have received throughout many years, not least from my wonderful family and friends whose support has been and remains invaluable to me.”

Special constable Alistair Cameron received the same honour for his 27 years of service.

He said he was “humbled” to have been recognised, adding: “Like most volunteer police officers, I rely on my family’s unwavering support to give my best in keeping people safe. This award is as much theirs as mine.

“The highs and lows of policing are extreme, but the rewards are exceptional. I have been challenged and personally developed in ways I never thought possible.

“I am passionate about mentoring the next generation of volunteer officers and look forward to playing my part for many years.”

Police Scotland Chief Constable Jo Farrell said: “These awards are testament to the dedication and professionalism of our officers and staff, including our fantastic special constables.”

At the ambulance service, head of programmes Liam Coughlan received the King’s Ambulance Service Medal.

First Minister John Swinney said: “The people who have been awarded the King’s Police, Fire or Ambulance Service Medals have shown exceptional dedication and resilience in serving our communities and keeping us safe.

“They deserve our sincere appreciation and thanks for the sterling work they do.”

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