Fire Service celebrates top awards win

Friday, 25th September 2015

STAFFORDSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service is celebrating after scooping two prestigious awards at the Sentinel’s tenth annual Our Heroes Awards last night.

Celebrities and VIPs gathered at the Oscars-style ceremony to pay tribute to those whose efforts made a difference to the people of North Staffordshire.

Staffordshire firefighters who attended the Smiler crash at Alton Towers earlier this year stepped forward to receive the Local and Proud Award. Firefighters from Cheadle, Ipstones, Leek, Sandyford and Stafford Stations were called to the scene where firefighters and medics battled to save the lives of four seriously injured casualties in an extremely challenging rescue.

Dale Harrison, Partnership Engagement Officer said: “It was a real honour to be nominated by Daniel Thorpe in recognition of a whole team effort and on behalf of all the firefighters and emergency services personnel.”

Firefighter Richard Simpson from Hanley Community Fire Station won second runner-up in the Beyond the Call of Duty category, presented by Potteries sports pundit Mark Bright. Richard rescued two neighbours from a house fire in Birches Head, Stoke on Trent.

Richard Simpson, Firefighter said: “It was an overwhelming experience but also very humbling to be singled out for this award. It’s wonderful that people take the time to recognise others in the community in such a way and it was a real honour to represent the Service at this important event.”

Chief Fire Officer, Peter Dartford said: “I had the great pleasure to attend the Sentinel ‘Our Heroes’ Awards last night, where a number of truly inspirational and touching stories were highlighted about a number of local people who were nominated for what can only be described as their extraordinary achievements.

“Amongst them were the crews from our Service who attended the rollercoaster incident at Alton Towers in June. It was extremely pleasing that they received a special recognition award for their exemplary efforts to rescue those seriously injured by the collision between the two carriages, resulting in one of the most challenging situations they had ever faced”