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Winners announced at Humberside Fire & Rescue Service’s annual Community Awards ceremony

27 September 2013

Humberside Fire & Rescue Service’s (HFRS) annual Community Awards, which celebrate members of staff; partner organisations; and the public for their contributions to the community and acts of courage, took on Thursday 26 September at a glittering awards ceremony held at the Country Park Inn, Hessle.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Local Hero Award, sponsored by Scania, which is voted for by members of the public.

The award was won by Gayle Brown of Bridlington, who was quick to respond when she saw a young boy playing with a lighter and some thinners which he had found outside a garage in an alleyway. His clothing caught fire and he rapidly became engulfed by flames. Seeing the fireball Gayle immediately reacted and rolled the boy on the ground to extinguish the flames, she then administered emergency first aid whilst shouting to raise the alarm. The young boy had to be treated for severe burns but was very lucky because he may not have survived without the fast actions of Gayle.

The award for the Young Person of the Year was won by 15-year-old Rosie Louis. Rosie disregarded her own safety to help her grans neighbour from a fire. She heard the smoke alarm from the neighbours flat and, despite the smoke in the room, went in and led the elderly gentleman to safety.

An award was also given for Best Fire Station, sponsored by PBi Performance, which was won by Snaith Fire Station for gaining high performance scores.

Another highlight was the presentation of the Chief’s Award to Andy Preskey, who has been a member of operational staff with Humberside Fire and Rescue Service for over 20 years.

Two years ago Andy took over as Chairman of the board organising the 7 Lakes Rescue in his spare time. Rescue Day has grown into what is believe to be the world’s largest public display of Emergency Services.

This year over 22,000 people came to Rescue Day in Crowle to be thrilled by displays from the police, fire service, ambulance service, RAF, SAR, AA Rescue, Humber Rescue and so many other emergency responders and this year’s event over £25,000 was raised for local charities.

Upon presenting the award, CFO Hannigan said: “I would like to thank Andy for his tireless dedication to the safety of his community, the training of our staff and promoting the work of all emergency services.”

Daryl Oprey, Head of Safety at HFRS, said: “The Community Awards are our way of recognising those members of staff who go the extra mile to make the Service the best it can be, the partner agencies and groups who help us to make our community safer and members of the public who carry out exceptional acts of bravery. The ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate all of those people who help us achieve our goals and everyone who was nominated, shortlisted and, of course, those who won awards should be very proud of their achievements.”

Other winners on the night were:

The Individual Award for Service to the Community – Sponsored by BP. Won by – Janet Dixon.

There are a great number of adults and children in the Humberside area very grateful to Janet for the work she does as an adoptive and fostering parent. Despite now being 62 when most people are having a well-earned rest Janet is still fostering children to ensure a better life for them. Even though she has lost 3 children in tragic circumstances she has continued to foster vulnerable children for over 40 years.

The award The Project/Team or Individual to have the most impact on improving people’s lives – sponsored by Balfour Beatty. Won by – Glen Matsell.

In his off duty time as fire fighter Glen Matsell has organised events which have become regular fundraisers for Dove House Hospice which he is truly committed to supporting since his father and work colleague Mick Dunn were treated there. So far Glen has raised an incredible £30,000+ for the hospice even donning his dancing shoes during a sponsored dance competition.

The award for the Project/Team or Individual to have the most impact on Safer Communities, Safer Fire fighters is sponsored by Clugston Group. Won by – Harry Hall

As well as being a serving fire fighter Harry works as a volunteer to serve his community through L.I.V.E.S. as an emergency responder. He has encouraged others to become involved and has been tenacious in developing and implementing the HFRS ‘First Responder’ partnership which is now running successfully. He provides first aid and trauma care and has done so for the community for over 13 years.

The Award for the Project/Team or individual which most engages with vulnerable and hard to reach people – sponsored by Howdens Joinery. Won by – Tracy Foster

Pinderfields hospital is the regional burns unit servicing children from the HFRS area. Tracy Foster is the play specialist responsible for engaging with young people suffering from pain and distress as a result of burns injuries. As well as distraction activities Tracy also fundraises and hosts parties and trips including a recent trip to South Africa for children with burn scars so that they can meet other similarly injured children and appreciate that they don’t need to feel self-conscious.

The award for inspiring others is sponsored by the Sewell Group. The winner is Christian Routledge.

Christian is an amazing young man who has inspired a member of HFRS staff with his ‘bring it on’ attitude to illness and living his life the best he can. At just 13 he is facing pain and discomfort many adults will never experience, yet he is steadfast in taking everything in his stride with courage beyond his years which is truly inspirational.

The Best Fire Station award – sponsored by PBi Performance Products. Won by Snaith Fire Station.

This year the award could have been either a retained duty system station or a whole time duty system station. The award is decided by performance and standards as well as nomination by Group Managers and public letters of thanks.

The award for Best Team – sponsored by Ultra Surefire. Won by North Lincolnshire Community Safety Team.

The North Lincolnshire Community Protection Team involved themselves enthusiastically working with local magistrates to offer road safety training as an alternative to other sentences for road offences, which is becoming a success due to be replicated in other area. They have also worked closely with the local police to reduce arson and have seen a huge decrease in arson related incidents.

The award for Excellence sponsored by DFDS Seaways. Won By HFRS Organisational Intelligence Unit.

The work carried out by the OIU helps HFRS to be one of the best performing services in the country. Their data collection, processing and analysis enables HFRS to identify vulnerable groups in our communities to profile problems which may increase incidents in the future and suggest ways of reducing them, enabling many lives to be saved. Their work has been recognised with a Customer Service Excellence Award.

The award for the Partner organisation to have the most impact on helping HFRS improve people’s lives won by Humber Rescue

Responsible for training four stations and over 100 HFRS staff members to level two boat operators the Humber Rescue Team have played a major part in supporting the service. With flooding now appearing as one of the highest risks in the county the introduction of the training provided by Humber Rescue will dramatically change how HFRS perform their role during flood situations.

The award for the Partner organisation assisting HFRS to engage with hard to reach and vulnerable people sponsored by Fire Angel. Won by Howden’s Joinery.

Howden’s Joinery have worked closely with HFRS in providing a fire response to the vulnerable people of the local community allowing staff to undertake fire service training in their works time and offering full support to provide 24 hour cover. The Howden’s staff on RDS have attended over 200 incidents demonstrating their level of service to the community.