Family and friends helped one of the longest serving members of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service celebrate receiving his MBE.
Arson task force coordinator Mick Rodden found out earlier this year that he had been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to community safety and to the community of Northamptonshire.
After collecting his award at Buckingham Palace last week, a party was held at Corby Conservative Club on Friday in recognition of his achievements.
Among the guests at the celebration were Corby mayor Julie Riley and MP for Corby Tom Pursglove.
Grant Cassidy, a committee member at Conservative club where Mick is the president, said: “It was brilliant.
“We had all of Mick’s family and friends there, it was lovely.
“I said we have got to do something, it’s not very often that you meet someone that gets the MBE and that someone is so close to home.”
Mick was born in Corby and started work with the county fire service more than 40 years ago when he joined as a volunteer.
He went on to become a whole-time firefighter, leaving behind his former career in the Northamptonshire steel industry, and has been involved in numerous projects within the fire service.
In 2004, he successfully applied for a secondment in the newly formed arson task force, a joint initiative between police and fire to cut the level of arson in the county.
He was also one of the founders of the Elvis (End of Life Vehicle Impound Scheme) - another joint initiative with the arson task force, the county council and the district and borough councils aimed at reducing the number of abandoned, untaxed or nuisance vehicles which could become a target for arsonists.
Grant has known Mick for 15 years and he said: “It’s really good that he got the MBE.
“People are proud of him and proud of what he’s done for the town, his work is not just for the arson task force.
“He’s a nice guy, he’s been a member of the local council, a stalwart of the community and he went on to work with the Evening Telegraph promoting the fact that people should be aware of the fire risks and dangers in the home.”
Grant said everyone, including Mick, enjoyed the party and added: “I am proud to know him as a friend.
“It’s nice that someone within our community in Northamptonshire has got the MBE and been recognised for their efforts.
“I think he was quite humbled by the attendance, I think he was grateful to me and to his family and friends for being there.”