A SENIOR fire officer from Saltcoats has received royal recognition for distinguished service.

John Dickie travelled to Buckingham Palace to receive the Queen’s Fire Service Medal on Tuesday, October 22.

The assistant chief officer and director of Response and Resilience received the award in front of his proud mum, Ann-Marie Dickie.

John said: “I feel very humbled to receive this honour. It was really quite something to experience the ceremony with my mum, partner Angela and best friends by my side.?

“I left school in Ayrshire with one O-Level, but what I’ve realised over the years is that if you apply yourself and put the effort in, whatever your chosen career, you reap the rewards.

“The fire and rescue service has given me so many opportunities, which I’m extremely grateful for, and in my opinion it is the best job in the world.”?

Ann-Marie, 78, was beaming with pride as she watched her son receive the medal from Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.?

She said: “This was one of the proudest moments of my life.

“John has dedicated many years of his life to the fire and rescue service and to see him being recognised in this way is really special. It was also a lovely experience to visit Buckingham Palace.”

ACO Dickie, who has been with the fire and rescue service for 30 years, has held several senior positions throughout his career. He joined Strathclyde Fire Brigade in 1989, then went on to work for the British Airports Authority Fire Service at Glasgow Airport. In 1994, he re-joined Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade as a trainee again.?

When the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was formed in 2013, John took up the role as the first local senior officer for the City of Edinburgh, Mid and East Lothian and Scottish Borders, before moving into his current department, Response and Resilience, as an area manager.

John was then promoted to deputy assistant chief officer and then in 2019 was promoted to assistant chief officer.