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Bow firefighter receives long service medal for 20 years with London Fire Brigade

Ian was presented with long service medal by London Fire Commissioner
Ian Thornton was awarded with a medal for his dedication to protecting the capital's communities from fire
Bow Crew Manager Ian Thornton was only 23 when he joined the London Fire Brigade, and after 20 years service to Londoners, was awarded with a medal for his dedication to protecting the capital's communities from fire.

Ian, 43, joined the Brigade in 1989, when he changed his smart office suit to a firefighters uniform and rubber boots. He said: "I didn't really enjoy working in an office and was more interested in doing something more active, challenging and fun and a firefighter's job seemed to tick all the boxes."

Ian's firefighting career started with an intensive training course that at the time took 21 weeks to complete and aimed at preparing firefighters to a variety of emergencies ranging from fighting fires to rescuing people from trapped vehicles.

As soon as his training was completed, Ian was posted to Bow fire station and has stayed there since. In 2003 he was promoted to a Crew Manager rank and took charge of five firefighters and a fire engine.

When asked about some of the most memorable incidents in his 20 years career, Ian recalled: "I will always remember the fire in Bethnal Green where two of our firefighters died. They weren't from our station but their death was a huge loss to all of us at the Brigade and made a big impact.  It was one of those days when you just realise how dangerous your job can be."

Ian, who is married with two children, was presented with his long service medal by London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson at a ceremony held at Southwark Training Centre.

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