A PROFESSOR from the University of Chester has been rewarded for decades of work with the fire service.
Professor Kevin Sykes’s pioneering work on the development of occupational health and fitness protocols and standards for the UK Fire and Rescue Service has helped put Chester on the map.
Formerly director of the postgraduate centre for exercise and nutrition science at the university and now its dean emeritus of international development, Professor Sykes created a specially designed fitness assessment for candidates entering active service and those already in post.
The Chester Step Test was approved by the Home Office in 1995 as part of the recruitment process for all UK fire and rescue services and a more recent alternative, the Chester Treadmill Test has also now been introduced.
A figure of a firefighter was presented to Professor Sykes by Paul Hancock, chief fire officer for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Prof Sykes said: “I am extremely honoured to have received this award. It has been a pleasure working alongside colleagues in Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service – and beyond – for three decades and I am delighted that they feel I have been able to assist in ensuring their staff meet, or exceed, the standards necessary to perform very physically demanding roles.”
Mr Hancock added: “Kevin’s contribution and input have been invaluable in developing robust fitness standards for operational firefighters.
“His personal passion, coupled with his academic background and particular experience of working in the fitness and exercise arena, have given the standards real credibility.
“I am delighted therefore to present this small token of our appreciation to Kevin for his outstanding work and commitment.”