A CUMBRIAN firefighter has been invited to a royal garden party later this year in recognition of his long and outstanding service for the county council’s fire and rescue service.

John Bradley, from Bootle, has worked as an on-call firefighter for a remarkable 44 years and is the Watch Manager at Bootle Fire Station.

As Watch Manager, John has been instrumental in supporting significant service delivery changes, including implementation of a new style fire engine and the building of a brand new community fire station in the area in 2015.

During his years of service as an on-call firefighter, John has attended a very wide range of incidents including property fires, road traffic collisions and floods.

He has previously been awarded the Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Medals in recognition of his dedication and service to the Fire Service and his local communities.

He was recognised with the unsung hero award for his service and dedication in Cumbria County Council’s Excellence Awards last year.

Mr Bradley said: "I’m really excited to be invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May. The invitation really took me by surprise – I had to read it a few times before it sunk in! I have met the Queen before when she visited the county in 2008 and I was presented to her and Princess Anne.”

Steve Healey, Cumbria’s Chief Fire Officer, said: “John thoroughly deserves this recognition for his long and outstanding years of service to Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service. He personifies the values and ethos that are part of the positive culture of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and I hope he will inspire others to consider becoming an on-call firefighter in the county.”