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Islington borough firefighters were awarded Freedom of the Borough by Islington Council at a ceremony last night.
The fire crews from Islington and Holloway fire stations were last year chosen to receive the award for the “dedication and commitment to the borough day in and day out”. Firefighters were also commended for their response to the Grenfell Tower fire.
The Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour a council can bestow on an individual of group and is only granted to those who the local authority deem to have “rendered eminent serviced to that place or area”.
Gary Squires, Borough Commander for Islington, said: “It is a true honour that the Islington borough team of firefighters were given this award.
“The ceremony was a wonderful night and we are grateful to Islington Council for their continued support in all the work we do from attending operational incident to preventative community safety work within the borough.”
Islington Fire Station has been based in Upper Street since 1993 and Holloway Fire Station moved to its current home in Hornsey Road in the early 1900s.
Islington Fire Station has one fire engine and a fire rescue unit, crewed by 17 staff per watch, and Holloway Fire Station has one fire engine, crewed by 7 staff per watch. There are four different watches at each station.
In 2017 crews from Islington borough attended over 3800 incidents.
Among the high profile incidents in the borough in recent years, crews dealt with a large burst water main on Upper Street in December 2016. The burst water main caused flooding to a depth of two metres in basement properties. Firefighters pumped the water out of basement properties and led residents to safety.
Islington’s firefighters are managed by Borough Commander Gary Squires, who took up his post within the borough in November 2017. Prior to this, firefighters served alongside Borough Commanders Paul Hobbs (June – November 2017), who is now Borough Commander of Havering, and Pat Goulbourne (December 2015 – June 2017), who is now Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Brigade’s Operational Resilience & Special Operations Group.
Firefighters were presented with the honour at the Mayor of Islington’s Civic Awards Ceremony last night (March 15).