Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

NIFRS Watch Commander Honoured in New Year’s Honours List

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) Retained Watch Commander, David Denvir, has been honoured in the New Year’s Honours List, receiving the prestigious British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community.

David, who is in responsible for Portaferry Fire Station has been recognised for his leadership and service to NIFRS for 48 years and his contribution to the local community during this time.

David joined the then Northern Ireland Fire Authority in 1969 as a Retained Firefighter in Portaferry Fire Station.  He was promoted to Leading Firefighter in Portaferry in 1981 and further promoted to Sub Officer/Watch Commander where he has been in charge of Portaferry Fire Station since 1991.

Over his years of distinguished service for NIFRS he has led the Firefighters of Portaferry as they attended incidents.  He has provided an excellent service to the community in Portaferry and regularly makes a contribution to wider management roles within NIFRS.  He is a qualified trainer and provides training courses for Retained Firefighters, not only for Portaferry personnel but also for Newtownards, Bangor, Donaghadee, Ballywalter, Holywood and Comber Fire Stations.

In addition to his Fire Service duties he has held various offices with St Patrick’s Gaelic Athletic Association Club for over 25 years.  He is a Trustee of the Club and has coached young people to a number of notable All-Ireland Gaelic Athletic Association Finals as well as acting as coach/mentor of the under-14 hurling team for 7 years.  He has also served as Governor of St Mary’s Primary School, Portaferry.

Chairperson of NIFRS, Carmel McKinney, OBE said

“On behalf of NIFRS Board I offer my sincere congratulations to David. He is a great ambassador for NIFRS and this award is testament to his dedication in going the extra mile to help protect and keep his local community safe.”

Gary Thompson, Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said –

“On behalf of everyone in Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service I would like to congratulate David on his prestigious award.  Over the years David has played a crucial role in helping protect his local community from many emergency incidents.  His leadership and assistance with training and developing our Retained Firefighters has been exemplary and this is a much deserved accolade.”  


David Denvir, Watch Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service added –

“It is a great honour to have been awarded the British Empire Medal.   I am extremely grateful for this personal recognition however I see this as an award for everyone I work alongside in the Fire & Rescue Service, in particular within Portaferry and surrounding Fire Stations. I would like to thank my colleagues and my local community for their support throughout this time.  I would also like to offer a sincere word of thanks to my family for all their support throughout my career.”

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