A former north-east firefighter rubbed shoulders with royalty as he received the Queen’s Fire Service Medal.
David Rout, from Ellon, attended Buckingham Palace for the prestigious ceremony, which saw him recognised for 33 years of dedication in the fire service.
He was awarded the medal by Prince William as part of the Queen’s birthday honours list.
David, 51, began his career in Melrose, in the Scottish Borders, before moving to the north-east to join the Grampian Fire Service in February 1988.
When the national service was rolled out in 2013, he was appointed to the role of local senior officer for Aberdeenshire and Moray.
He said: “I’m absolutely humbled and delighted to receive the honour.
“It was a fantastic day, it was given to me by Prince William and we had a nice conversation.
“I wouldn’t have achieved it without the help of my family, friends and colleagues.
“I’ve worked with a lot of people across Scotland.”
After the ceremony, he was enjoying some time in the capital, going to Covent Garden and off to see a theatre show.
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David added: “Buckingham Palace is absolutely stunning.
“The people who were there were really helpful.
“It was very nice indeed.”
His career started out in Lothian and the Borders, where he worked for three years before moving to Aberdeenshire.
He retired in February last year.
Of his retirement, David said: “I’m just spending my time with family and enjoying a little bit of travelling.
“I’m going off to Japan for the Rugby World Cup.”
As a young boy, David used to visit the local fire station and have a cup of tea with the crews, but never thought he would be receiving an award for his commitment to the job.
He was instrumental in the trial of the fire service’s Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OCHA) system, which aims to increase survival rates by 10%.
He added: “The OCHA project allowed me to work with people from all over Scotland, contributing to saving lives and leave a legacy as part of service transformation and redesign.
“It’s something I am extremely proud of.”