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Bewdley town councillor honoured with MBE
A BEWDLEY stalwart has been chosen to receive an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for services to the community and as a community first responder.
Labour town councillor Paul Gittins, 65, of Lyttleton Road, has been awarded the title of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
He has been Bewdley Mayor twice, is chairman of the town’s Royal British Legion and has served as a first responder since 2005 - twice receiving awards from West Midlands Ambulance Service for attending the most incidents during the year.
He said: “When the letter came through I was gobsmacked, there were a few tears.
“I feel very honoured and really pleased, more so for my wife [Bewdley Labour town councillor Carol Gittins] because I am out doing all these things which I enjoy and she has always supported me.”
Mr Gittins, born and raised in Bewdley, was a fire fighter for 35 years. He has been a town councillor for 19 years and was Mayor from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2010 to 2011.
He said he decided to apply as a community first responder - a team people who attend incidents before paramedics arrive in an ambulance - when he retired because he “got a bit bored and missed helping people”.
He responded to 530 calls during 2012 including 150 between 1am and 6am.
“I am really proud and I love my town,” he added. “I enjoy being a councillor and representing the people of Bewdley and, with the first responders, as long as I can get down on my knees I will be doing that.
Mr Gittins also works for Age UK Wyre Forest, based at Kidderminster’s Tulip Tree Centre, as a supervisor for the service’s gardening team. The former Mayor has not yet been told when he will attend Buckingham Palace to receive the MBE honour.
“The award is a very personal thing and I would like to dedicate it to my wife,” he said.