DORSET & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) has been honoured for its work during the coronavirus pandemic and for tackling the devastating Wareham Forest fire.

The service received community awards online from the High Sheriff of Dorset, George Streatfeild, and the High Sheriff of Wiltshire, Major General Ashley Truluck.

Presenting his award for Dorset, Mr Streatfeild said that 2020 would remain in the memory locally, not just for coronavirus but also for the massive fire at Wareham Forest in May.

More than 150 firefighters tackled the blaze, which raged for more than two weeks and ripped through 220 hectares of forest and heathland.

He said: “Every section of the service, not just firefighters, showed dedication, commitment and sheer determination to not only put the fire out but save lives, save homes and save wildlife – you deserve every credit and recognition.”

DWFRS chief fire officer Ben Ansell said: “I am very proud to have accepted these awards from the high sheriffs, especially as they are for the whole organisation.

“As with many other organisations, we have had to significantly change how we work in so many ways since the pandemic took hold in March. This has involved firefighters and staff undertaking new tasks, as well as ensuring we can continue to deliver our prevention, protection and emergency response functions to our communities across Dorset and Wiltshire."