Team of the Year
Cambridge Fire Station, Cambridgeshire
Cleckheaton Blue Watch, West Yorkshire
End to End Cycle, Scotland
Ladies Driving Challenge, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire
Nuneaton Fire Station, Warwickshire
StrongArm Challenge, Durham & Darlington and Tyne & Wear
Supporter of the Year
Fire Service of the Year
Corporate Supporter of the Year
Beneficiary of Courage
Youth of Courage
Firefighter of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award – Announced on the evening
Team of the Year
Cambridge Fire Station
Upon returning to their new fire station after two years at a temporary site, Cambridge fire crews seized the opportunity to engage the local community in their fundraising antics. They got involved with social media and organised a wealth of activities including car washes, engine pulls, street collections and even their very own Cambridge vs Oxford boat race! This dedicated group spends hours after shifts have ended planning events and engaging local businesses and volunteers. This teamwork, dedication and drive has seen them raise almost £14,000 in this time.
Cleckheaton Blue Watch
In October 2014, Cleckheaton Blue Watch completed a staggering 500 mile bike ride to Amsterdam to raise funds for the Charity. Not content with this amazing accomplishment, the watch took part in the Amsterdam Marathon the following day. The team was inspired by firefighter colleague Matt Wood, who was diagnosed with stage four oesophageal cancer 12 months previously, and who sadly passed away in May 2015. Their determination has seen them raise £7,772 for The Fire Fighters Charity.
End to End Cycle Team
Retained firefighters from the Highlands decided to raise money for the Charity by undertaking a non-stop End to End Cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats which took 65 hours. With an original target of c.£2,000, they managed to get sponsorship to cover their fuel costs, and by working hard with the community and their own contacts, they raised an amazing £12,500! An extremely kind and generous group, their dedication and commitment is inspiring.
Ladies Driving Challenge Team
For the last four years, a joint team from Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service planned and delivered successful Ladies Driving Challenge fundraising events at Alconbury airfield, raising tens of thousands of pounds over the years, with over 650 participants joining in from all over the country. Each year saw more than 80 volunteers on site, with all kinds of vehicles for participants to drive, including hovercraft, HGVs, sports cars and giant tractors.
Nuneaton Fire Station
Nuneaton Fire Station’s annual Open Day in aid of the Charity raises thousands of pounds each year and helps bring the community together. Run by charity volunteer Rachel Streeting and her team, this whole-time station works extremely hard to support the Charity and raised a record-breaking £6,500 at this year’s open day!
The StrongArm challenge is a joint Durham and Darlington and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue team fundraising over a number of years in memory of firefighter Peter Metcalfe, who died at 35 after a brief battle with cancer. The team has raised approximately £60,000 for the Charity and Make a Wish Foundation to date. After a successful inaugural year, on consecutive days in 2014 they swam eight miles in Ullswater, completed a mountain triathlon and the Total Warrior 10 mile assault course carrying a paraplegic team member and then cycled 100 miles home. This team has huge commitment and cooperation skills!
Best Newcomer of the Year
Andy Grist, Royal Berkshire
In 2014, Royal Berkshire firefighter Andy Grist tackled 14 challenges, raising thousands for the Charity. Challenges included a kayak from Southampton to the Isle of Wight and a cycle from the Needles to the south of the island and then a run back to port. Andy’s final challenge saw him take on five ultra-marathons in five days, running 40 miles a day for five days. Not content with this, he also encouraged others to take up the challenge, organising a 24 hour cycle challenge in 2015 that saw his and neighbouring brigades go head to head to raise more money for the Charity.
Andy Hart, Surrey
Andy Hart took over as Surrey’s Service Coordinator in November 2013 and has transformed the service into a fundraising success story. In 2015, Surrey’s income increased by £27,000 on the previous year, the result of Andy’s can-do approach and infectious enthusiasm for the Charity. Andy has worked tirelessly to revitalise all income streams, increasing participation in fundraising including car washes, shop in a box, regular giving and lottery. Andy was also pivotal in introducing recycling to the service and re-engaging the Station Representative network. Andy has striven to raise awareness of Charity services, organising drop in sessions for colleagues and encouraging them to attend with home-made cake!
Natasha McLoughlin, Durham and Darlington
Natasha took on the role of Service Coordinator for Durham and Darlington in March 2014 and dedicates a significant amount of time to making sure the role is a success and that income continues to improve. Her enthusiasm for the Charity is infectious and has helped created a strong and inclusive Charity volunteer team within her service. She has played a key role in event organization and when putting together a big event to mark the closure of Durham and Darlington HQ, Natasha ensured the Charity was central in everyone’s thoughts, including information about Charity services in the invitations and donating all proceeds from the day to the Charity.
Sarah Lewis, Royal Berkshire
Sarah joined Royal Berkshire as Service Coordinator in November 2013, with a goal of making Royal Berkshire the leading fundraising fire service in the country. Since then, Sarah has been pivotal in ensuring that income has increased – in just one year, funds raised went up by c.670%, including a single town centre collection that made almost £10,000! Royal Berkshire also won an award for its National Car Wash fundraising, moving from £282 in 2013/14 to £15,963 in 2014/15. She has also placed 12 clothes recycling banks across the county, and even took part in a Spinnaker Tower abseil.
Supporter of the Year
Dave Roberts, London
Dave has been a dedicated supporter, advocate and fundraiser for The Fire Fighters Charity since 1969. Throughout his fire service career, Dave has organised hundreds of fundraising events to ensure that the Charity gets the financial and organisational support it needs. He has given almost all of his own time to fundraising and has travelled many miles to do so. Despite now having a partial disability, Dave continues to run the London shop he created solely to raise funds for The Fire Fighters Charity. Since 2010 Dave has raised a staggering £220,000 for the Charity and in 2014/15 alone he raised £25,000.
Martin Lown, Herefordshire
Martin is a passionate advocate of the Charity who pushes his body to physical limits to raise money for us! He began his fundraising with a 2012 ascent of Kilimanjaro, followed in 2013 by Mt Everest Base Camp, and this year took on Mt Toubkal in North Africa. Not wanting to do things by half, Martin challenged himself even more by climbing these three peaks in full fire kit and carrying a specially adapted breathing apparatus set to act as a rucksack. Through these climbs, Martin has raised over £12,000 for the Charity, acting as an inspirational leader to other fundraisers. As well as his personal fundraising, Martin is the Service Coordinator for the Charity in Hereford and Worcester and helped the service raise nearly £90,000 in 2013/14.
Matt House, Cambridgeshire
Matt is his station’s Charity Representative and sets an outstanding example to all. With a phenomenal level of commitment to the Charity, Matt keeps himself busy organising fundraising events and coordinating volunteers on station. Matt’s leadership and desire to help others has seen funds raised total over £15,000 in just two years. He never passes on an opportunity, agreeing to race Oxford in a boat challenge despite never having stepped in a rowing boat! He even organised a Charity car wash six weeks before his wedding and a Christmas fire engine pull four weeks after, both of which raised record-breaking totals.
Susan Kerr, Scotland
Integral to the success of The Fire Fighters Charity in Scotland, Susan is a tireless supporter of its work. A Media Officer for Scottish Fire and Rescue, she works ceaselessly to ensure awareness of the Charity’s services both internally and in external media outlets. Susan is an active fundraiser, organising events such as the Dunfermline Fire Station open day, and participating in events including a skydive and the Edinburgh Colour Run. Susan volunteers as the Charity’s comms coordinator in Scotland, and is also a registered Home Visitor, ensuring her local community is well supported by our services.
Fire Service of the Year
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Despite being a relatively small Service, Bedfordshire makes a big contribution to the work of The Fire Fighters Charity. With Bedfordshire coming in the top five FRS’ in the UK in terms of income per head for two years running, a strategic approach to fundraising has resulted in outstanding growth. Having set itself an ambitious fundraising target of £70k for the Charity’s 70th anniversary, Bedfordshire went on to raise a record-breaking £75k in 2013/14 and has since gone on to match that in 2014/15, bringing in income significantly above target. This growth has happened despite a reduction in the Service’s establishment and workforce figures, an increase on everyone’s workload and pressures on organisational finances. Bedfordshire has demonstrated exceptional commitment to fundraising, supporting national events and adopting an innovative approach to local activities.
Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service
Not a day goes by at Cheshire Fire and Rescue without someone somewhere doing something to benefit The Fire Fighters Charity. The Service wholeheartedly supports the Charity, from the most senior officer down to the newest recruit, and prospective fundraisers are actively encouraged to support in as many unusual ways as possible in order to glean publicity and awareness of the Charity’s work. Activity includes gruelling events such as a marathon-length fire engine pull to pedalling across the UK and the USA (on both single-seater and four-seater cycles!), a desert marathon plus the more conventional UK marathons, a Kilimanjaro climb and boxing nights. Other smaller events take place almost daily, including regular cake bakes organised by the country’s first workplace Women’s Institute to sell at station open days, headquarters and other events, employees who sell home produce in aid of the Charity, a host of individuals who take part in a range of personal endeavours and occasional days, such as non-uniform days, to raise money.
Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service
Lancashire has worked hard to build on the strong foundations of solid activity in support of The Fire Fighters Charity. Developing a strong network across the county has been a significant piece of work over 2014/2015, and Lancashire now boasts Station Representatives at each of its 39 fire stations. Fundraising events have included cake sales, awareness days and a sponsored Helvellyn 15k trail run raising over £1k, as well as a fantastic motorbike ride event culminating in a family BBQ night and camping at Jubilee House, raising £3,000 to date. The Service has also developed an effective partnership with their local university, with graduates raising £2,700 for the Charity by taking part in a sponsored ladder climb and ‘Tough Enough’ challenge.
Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service
Royal Berkshire has undergone a transformation! Thanks in no small part to the enthusiastic leadership of Service Coordinator Sarah Lewis and Service Champion Andy Fry, Royal Berkshire has in the past year installed recycling banks at 12 stations, held 16 car washes in 2014 and six in 2015 to date. Slough Fire Station won the National Car Wash award for most raised, while RBFRS also won regionally in September 2014. Income has increased across the board, and fundraising activities have continued apace – including Slough crew cycling from Slough to Paris in three days, Andy Grist’s 14 Challenge and a 24 hour cycle ride. Royal Berkshire has gone from 34th service in terms of income per head raised for us to a fantastic 6th.
Corporate Supporter of the Year
Autoglym has supported the Charity’s signature event, the National Car Wash year after year by providing shampoo for all stations. This support equates to £40,000 worth of shampoo each year, ensuring that the Charity can maximise the profit from the event and the impact of stations’ efforts. Without this generous donation the event would simply not be viable. Thanks to Autoglym’s unstinting support we have been able to wash thousands of vehicles to a tip top standard and raise hundreds of thousands of pounds in the process.
Elvis and Kresse
Elvis and Kresse donates 50% of the profits from their fire hose range to The Fire Fighters Charity. Elvis & Kresse believes in the notion of good business: the company was established to solve environmental problems, waste problems in particular. They started with fire hose and now reclaim more than 10 different materials. In the last year a donation of £13,000 was received, taking the total since 2009 to over £39,000 with a further donation expected later this year.
Liverpool Football Club
In the past year, Liverpool Football Club has been instrumental in both helping the Charity raise thousands of pounds and in raising awareness of our work both regionally and nationally. We held a Sportsman’s Dinner at the club in September 2014; the club gave a great package and support to ensure the Charity could maximize the amount raised. This coming summer we will host a 999 Cup 16 team tournament at their foundation training ground, with teams coming to play from all over the country, including Suffolk Fire and Rescue and West Midlands Ambulance Service. We have also been granted a Bucket Collection at Anfield during the 2015/2016 season. Although we are not a “selected” charity for Liverpool, they have been unbelievable supporters of the Charity to date.
St George’s Park
Although St George’s Park had only been up and running for just over a year when the Charity held a 24 hour football match there in 2014, they were out of this world with their support and help, giving us the indoor Sir Alf Ramsey pitch for the duration of the game, all for free. We were supported around the clock by the staff, including the sports science team Spire Perform, who supported players with physio and recovery ice pools to keep their legs going. With the help and support of St George’s Park, we raised more than £8,000.
Beneficiary of Courage
Emma Matthews, Cornwall
Emma works for Cornwall Fire and Rescue and has been nominated for the courage shown after she supported husband Martyn through a terminal illness. After Martyn was diagnosed with metastatic rectal cancer at just 31, Martyn and Emma researched all treatment options, and found a specialist in Germany who could offer laser surgery. They sold their house and used their savings to fund the treatment, which saw Martyn’s quality of life improve considerably. Martyn attended rehabilitation with the Charity and Emma recuperation. Unfortunately, Martyn’s tumours reappeared and he lost his battle in October 2014. Emma showed remarkable courage during this time, supporting her husband and battling for him to receive funding for treatment.
Paul Roberts, South Wales
Paul was a Watch Manager in Charge with South Wales Fire and Rescue. In 2013, on the way to a call out, his fire engine was involved in an accident and he was trapped for two hours. After being airlifted to hospital, it was found he had fractured his spine in two places, and fractured all his ribs. Despite his injuries and the severe pain he endured, he has worked very hard to get back to fitness, attending rehabilitation with the Charity to help him back to recovery. Although he has been retired by the fire service, he continues to strive to overcome the daily problems his injuries cause, and remains in touch with his station, popping in for regular visits.
Pete Lau, West Yorkshire
Station Manager Pete suffered a life-changing spinal injury after a cycling accident, leaving him in a wheelchair. After the accident, he spent months recovering in hospital and attended rehabilitation with the Charity. Despite suffering numerous knock backs due to the severity of his injuries, Pete continues to be an inspiration to all those who know him, motivating and inspiring other patients in their mental and physical recovery. He continues his fundraising efforts for the Charity and others, committed to making a difference no matter what.
Tracey Owen, Wiltshire
Tracey has been a supporter of the Charity for over 26 years, helping at all kinds of events, designing posters and organising collections at her place of work. In 2014 Tracey was diagnosed with breast cancer, and spent the next year undertaking chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy, looking after her two daughters and maintaining a positive and caring outlook. Between treatments, Tracey spent time recuperating at Harcombe House with her family. Her radiotherapy concluded in November, and she was almost immediately out with her local fire station’s street collection, helped to raise over £1000. She has now returned to work.
Youth of Courage
Chloe McGann, Birmingham
Chloe, 17, is a member of West Midlands Fire Services Young Firefighters Association at Perry Barr Fire Station. Last year, Chloe witnessed the vicious attack and robbery of a man while travelling through Erdington, Birmingham on a bus. The man was knocked unconscious and the men fled. Chloe took control of the situation, assessing the condition of the man and commencing CPR, as the man was not breathing. She continued doing so until the ambulance crew arrived, undoubtedly saving his life.
James Aspden, Lancashire
James, 8, saved his father’s life after his arm became trapped in a hay baler while working on the family farm. While attempting to remove an obstruction from the jammed baler, father Thomas’ arm was drawn into the mechanism between two rollers. With great presence of mind, James pushed the tractor’s emergency stop button and raised the alarm. Thomas’ arm was broken in five places and was lacerated and bruised, but his injuries could have been a great deal worse had James not acted so coolly.
Joe Bowers, South Yorkshire
Joe is an outstanding young man – rescued from a house fire in Rotherham back in 2001, he suffered terrible burns and spent months in hospital. Put up for adoption at a young age, Joe has faced everything from plastic surgery and facial reconstruction to amputations and muscle transplants. Joe was then adopted by Phil and Tracy and their loving family. Phil is now a volunteer with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, supporting work in the community to help prevent fires like the one which changed Joe’s life forever. A sweet and loving young man, when Joe visits a fire station or South Yorkshire’s headquarters, he warms the hearts of everyone he meets.
Lauren Cosgrove, Scotland
Lauren Cosgrove was born prematurely and really went through the mill as a baby. She developed short bowel syndrome, was fitted with an ileostomy bag and has had bouts of serious illness ever since. Lauren now relies on artificial nutrition through three machines, 24 hours a day, through a line into her heart to keep her alive. Battling chronic pain and regular visits to hospital, Lauren is a happy, wonderful child who helps to raise fire safety awareness in Glasgow and the west, working closely with her local station, Barrhead Community Fire Station, which has unofficially adopted her!
Alan Rendall, London
Alan saved his neighbour’s life during a fire in Surrey. After spotting smoke near his house, he discovered a fire in the conservatory of a neighbour’s property and saw his friend lying on the floor of his conservatory. By this time the fire had rapidly spread to the first floor and roof of the property. Alan entered the property and removed his neighbour, who had suffered severe burns to his body, into the garden, suffering smoke inhalation in the process. The fire service says this saved his friend from further injury and possibly his life.
Chris Johnston and Lucas Cooper, Cheshire
Chris and Lucas saved a 94-year-old woman from a serious kitchen fire. Chris works as a gas engineer for Plus Dane Housing and was driving past. He banged on the front door of the house to raise the alarm but got no answer. Chris, joined by neighbour Lucas, opened the back door and they were faced by a wall of smoke and flames. They could hear resident Mrs Millichap calling out but could not see her due to the thick, black, low-lying smoke. It was far too dangerous to enter the property, but Lucas and Chris saw Mrs Millichap lying close to the patio doors. They smashed the glass using a concrete flower pot and Chris entered the property to rescue her, saving her life.
Gareth Salmon, London
When Gareth became aware of a fire near his residence, he entered the communal area of the flat block where he believed the fire to be and alerted the other residents. He was informed that an elderly resident was probably still in their flat. Ignoring the danger to himself, Mr Salmon entered the flat. Forced to retreat, he entered another way, gaining access before an explosion blew him out of the door. He once again re-entered the property, located the occupant and removed her to a place of safety. As he left the premises there was a much larger explosion – fortunately, he came to no harm.
Nelson Smith, Cambridgeshire
Nelson lives on a static caravan site in South Cambridgeshire. After spotting black smoke billowing from another caravan on the site, he ran over and rescued grandmother Charlotte Price from her burning home. He went to get a fire extinguisher but by the time he returned, the caravan was engulfed in flames. Nelson then pulled two other caravans to safety away from the fire – Charlotte’s daughter and granddaughter were inside. Nelson’s quick thinking really did save the day!
Firefighter of the Year
Brenan Morgan, Cambridgeshire
Brenan is a dedicated firefighter who gives outstanding motivational leadership to his team. He is described as an ‘inspirational, transformative and talented’ operational leader. Brenan is an ultra-marathon runner and keen supporter of the Charity, continually striving to help others push themselves, whatever role or rank they hold. While firefighters are often nominated for this award for bravery situations, this nomination recognises that to have a successful fire service on the frontline, people like Brenan must be there to support and lead crews when they are not responding to 999 calls.
Duncan Muirhead and Matthew Blanchard, Bedfordshire
Firefighters from Bedford White Watch were undertaking reconnaissance and water rescue training on the river Great Ouse, Bedford, during a period of prolonged rainfall, high water levels and fast flowing conditions. Crew Commander Matthew Blanchard and firefighter Duncan Muirhead were reviewing the potential for hazardous conditions from within the Service’s Rescue Boat. As the pair passed under Prebend Street Bridge, Duncan saw a member of the public on the wrong side of the bridge barrier, looking like he might jump. As the rescue boat turned, the man jumped into the fast-flowing water. Duncan swiftly manoeuvred the boat closer and Matthew immediately entered the water and swam towards him; the casualty had already gone under the surface. He managed to locate the man, grab hold of his ankle and pull him back to the surface. Matthew swam to the side of the river with the casualty in tow, monitored by Duncan at all times, and managed to pull both himself and the casualty out of the water, where further life-saving assistance could be offered. Whilst their presence on the river was fortuitous, their response needed to be swift and measured because of the difficult conditions, demonstrating a professional commitment to planning for just such a response.
Gregory Magill, Bedfordshire
Firefighter Gregory Magill was heading home when he noticed a fight between four males. One had been seriously assaulted and was lying on the ground. He identified himself as a firefighter and quickly assessed the casualty’s condition. He was unconscious, had lacerations to his head and a broken nose. Gregory enlisted the help of a bystander to help him roll the man onto his side, allowing him to clear and maintain the airway, enabling the casualty’s breathing to return to normal. He controlled his bleeding and kept the scene calm. He gave a clear, accurate and concise handover to the ambulance crew and helped lift the casualty onto a stretcher. Without his intervention and control, the casualty’s condition could have quickly deteriorated to a critical level.
Joe Thornton and Richard Jordan, Humberside
In 2014, Immingham Fire Station’s Green Watch was mobilised to an incident where a man was threatening to set fire to himself in his shed. On arrival, there was a strong smell of petrol and smoke issuing from the shed door. The officer in charge instructed the team to enter the shed and remove the individual. Richard applied gas cooling techniques and Joe opened the door – as he did so, the man in the shed threw an open can of petrol at them and slammed the door shut. Without hesitation and no idea how much petrol may have been on them both, Joe forced the door open whilst Richard used a cone spray to extinguish and protect them from any flames and threat of ignition to the petrol or themselves. Joe then removed the man from the shed and pinned him to the floor.
Steven Fox, Hampshire
Crew Manager Steve has outstanding dedication to his role and the Service. Steve has a true passion for helping others – he delivered and resuscitated a 16 week premature baby whilst off duty, worked with local manufacturers to design a door entry kit to make rescues easier and safer for firefighters, worked with vulnerable Nepalese members of the community to inform them about the fire service and volunteered with the UK’s Emergency Response Team to the Philippines Typhoon Haiyan.