DEVON and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service will unveil a brand new medal awarded for exceptional actions at an awards ceremony on Thursday.

Over recent years, the Service has been at the forefront of several significant emergency incidents – notably the tragic M5 crash and wide-scale flooding - which have captured both the public and media interest on a national level.

Whilst these incidents are not unique, they are, for some personnel, exceptional and challenging operational situations the like of which many firefighters may not experience during their entire careers.

For this reason, and for the first time in its history, the Service has minted a brand new medal for firefighters who have who have carried out exceptional actions in the face of extreme circumstances.

A small number of the new medals, for the first crews at the M5 crash, in addition to commendations and long service medals will be awarded to staff at an awards ceremony, sponsored by Norbord Ltd, on Thursday.

The media are invited to attend the presentation ceremony at Service Headquarters, Exeter, on Thursday 31 July. Guests will be seated at 6.30pm and the ceremonies are due to finish at 9.15pm.

No photography or filming will be permitted during the ceremony but there will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs at the conclusion of the ceremony.