Firefighters and police officers who rescued three people from house fires have received awards for their life-saving actions.
Three fire crews, one police team and two individual police officers received the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation at the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service Awards, which took place on Friday at Kettering Conference Centre.
Station Manager Kevin Denham, Green Watch of Moulton fire station, Green Watch of The Mounts, Moulton Retained and 11 police officers were given the Commendation for rescuing two people from a flat fire in Hunters Close, Northampton, in February this year.
After rescuing a man hanging from a first-floor window, firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a ladder to get in and search the flat. Working in thick smoke with zero visibility, they put out the fire and found a badly-injured woman, administering oxygen while colleagues and police broke down the front door to allow her to be rushed to hospital.
Group manager Barry Mullan, who also attended the incident, said: “This rescue was a great team effort, where the fire service and police worked together to save two lives.
“Without the direct actions of the first attending crews, ably assisted by the police officers, the male casualty would have jumped from the upstairs window and the female casualty would have died if she had remained in the flat any longer.
“It was as close a rescue as you can get, and one big team effort that brought everything together at the right time for the casualties, which is why I nominated the teams for a commendation.”
The Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation was also awarded to police officers PC Matt Baker and PC Taylor Ellis. In November 2016, the pair were first on the scene of a house fire in Woodland Close, New Duston. Despite thick smoke, they were able to gain entry and rescue a 95-year-old woman, saving her life.
Red Watch, of The Mounts fire station, conducted a further search using breathing apparatus and extinguished the fire.
Crew manager Martin Bramwell said: “These officers ran a real risk entering a heavily smoke-logged building, and went in not knowing if anyone was in there. Having discovered the casualty, they disregarded their own safety to bring her out.
“They did a fantastic job and it’s brilliant that it has been recognised.”
Other awards included four Fire Service Long Service and Good Conduct Medals, presented by Northamptonshire’s Lord Lieutenant on behalf of the Queen to mark 20 years’ service. The recipients were Crew Manager Darren Symons, Group Manager Michael Berry, Group Manager Philip Pells, and Firefighter Vince Frankham.
Three fire service staff also received awards from NFRS for over 40 years’ service: administrator Christine Kent, Watch Manager Michael Humphries, and Firefighter Graham Ayres.
Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey said: “Every year our awards celebrate the very best of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, and I’m honoured to present these commendations and long service awards in recognition of the dedication and professionalism of our personnel.
“This is the first time police officers have been given awards at this event, and all the commendations are very much deserved. It’s a privilege to work alongside fire service and police colleagues who display such commitment to the safety of the communities we serve.”
Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Simon Edens added: “We work very closely with the fire service and I'm honoured to be here tonight as the Chief Fire Officer's guest. I'm particularly delighted to be here to see a number of our Police officers receiving awards and add my thanks to them for their brave actions.”
The Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation recipients for the Hunters Close rescue
Green Watch, Moulton
Crew Manager Paul Cushing
Firefighter Mark Grant
Firefighter Mark Hickman
Firefighter Phil Verity
Green Watch, The Mounts
Watch Manager Steve Wilson
Firefighter Leon Greenley
Firefighter Thomas Marchant
Firefighter Richard Walding
Watch Manager Clive Beasley
Crew Manager Pat Langford
Firefighter Ray Bryant
Firefighter James Kikta
Station Manager Kevin Denham
Northamptonshire Police officers
PS Steve Roffe
PC Peter Ticehurst
PC Charlie How
Special Sergeant Benjamin Johnson
PC Andrew Stephens
PC Steve Marriner
PC Will Walters
PC Matt Fry
PC Christopher Lobb
PC Jordan-Bradly Taylor
PC Ryan Jennings