Beyond the Call of Duty… Awards For Firefighters and Civilians


Firefighters and civilians alike who put their lives at risk to save others were praised for their selfless acts at an awards ceremony held in Shropshire.

Three binmen who rescued an elderly couple from a burning car were  honoured alongside firefighters, some who braved terrorist bomb attacks in the 1980s and also fought the largest fire in UK peacetime during a 30 year career with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Chief Fire Officer John Redmond said: “I want to make public my admiration and respect for the men and women of the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service and to pay a personal tribute to the extraordinary and selfless actions of members of the public.

The awards ceremony held at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury celebrates the achievements of “some remarkable people,” he said.

“There are fire and rescue service staff who have given outstanding service and dedicated their professional lives to providing their community with an emergency service we can all be proud of.

Others who were not part of the fire and rescue service had put themselves in harm’s way to save someone else’s life.

“By any measure they are all extraordinary people,” said the Chief Fire Officer.

“They put others before themselves and they deserve our admiration, respect and thanks.”

He paid tribute to the ”extraordinary and selfless” act of three Veolia employees who risked their lives seconds after a horrific crash between two cars in Bomere Heath in November last year. Ignoring the strong smell of petrol and flames pouring from the engine, they put out the blaze with an extinguisher, dialled 999 and comforted two elderly people trapped in the wreckage until emergency services arrived.

“I have no doubt that the swiftness of their actions and heroic manner in dealing with the fire, management of the scene and care for the elderly couple, averted far more serious consequences and potentially loss of life,” said Mr Redmond.

“Nobody should underestimate the nature of the scene that confronted these three men that day and the remarkable way they dealt with it.”

A total of 30 firefighters with more than 1,000 years service between them were also honoured for their dedicated service. Some had dealt with the aftermath of the IRA bombing at Tern Hill Army barracks in 1989, a terrorist bomb attack at Shrewsbury Castle, and the two fires in Telford in 1983 and 1988 at COD Donnington, one of the largest military stores in Europe.

Retired firefighter Ian Titley, now a control room operator at Shrewsbury fire HQ, said that in the confusion of the Tern Hill bombing a firefighter with an Irish accent was shot at by soldiers at the main gatehouse.

Picture below: Shropshire firefighters who were on the scene immediately after the terrorist bomb went off at Tern Hill army barracks received their long service and good conduct medals from the Lord Lieutenant after 30 years of "exemplary" service.

The High Sheriff’s Good Citizen Award is given to someone who has made a substantial contribution to Society and who, through their actions, has made a significant difference to the safety and wellbeing of those within the community in which they live or work.  This individual, through their outstanding efforts, loyalty, hard work and caring approach has made a very real difference to the well-being of others.

The recipient of this year’s High Sheriff’s Award is Temporary Watch Manager Tim Hughes who is based on White Watch at Telford Central Fire Station

During 2014 Tim achieved a significant milestone in his amateur running career. He entered and completed a total of 10 Half marathons, a full marathon in Liverpool and 2 Ultra marathons in what was planned to be a 12 month commitment to raising money for his chosen Charity. His commitment to running began as a way of keeping fit but soon Tim had joined his local running club and began to set some very good times. His watch, White Telford fully supported his fund raising his decision to participate in a marathon or half marathon every month throughout the year.

Unfortunately Tim sustained an injury during the Stafford Half marathon which was later diagnosed as a broken foot but with his single mindedness in achieving his goal he still completed the run in 1 Hour 45 minutes. Tim eventually raised £1,000 towards the Midland Air Ambulance, a service which Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is very proud to be associated with and work alongside at numerous county wide incidents.

Picture below: The UKs longest serving firefighter Roger Smith with wife Margaret receives a special award on his retirement after 48 years service from Chief Fire Officer John Redmond and fire authority chairman Stuart West.

Receiving medals from the Lord Lieutenant Algernon Heber Percy and Councillor Chris Mellings for long service and good conduct are:

TELFORD: Rob Sheppard (Wellington); Tony Norgrove (Telford);

NORTH SHROPSHIRE: Richard Hughes (Whitchurch); Phil Wragg (Whitchurch); Graham Field (Whitchurch); Keith Robinson (Whitchurch); Simon Griffiths (Whitchurch RSO); John Deakin (Ellesmere); Brian Owens (Ellesmere); Simon Griffiths; Dave Furber (Wem); Steve Palin (Hodnet); Roger Smith (Market Drayton); Allan Plim (Market Drayton);  Phil Smith (Wem); Vic Young (Wem crew manager).

SOUTH SHROPSHIRE: Glynn Davies (Ludlow); John Taylor (Ludlow); Ian Yapp (Ludlow); Anthony Trow (Craven Arms); Eddie Brayne (Church Stretton); Graham Dudley (Clun); Steve Paige (Church Stretton); Ken Spragg (Church Stretton); Anthony Reiner (Cleobury Mortimer); Trevor Williams (Clun watch manager); Andrew Williams (Clun);

SHREWSBURY and MINSTERLEY: Ian Johnson (Shrewsbury); Chris Lloyd-Gwilliam (Minsterley); Ian Titley (control room);

The Dave Bishton Challenge Shield is awarded to the station or department who over the last 12 months have raised the most money for the Fire Fighters Charity, through planned events or general donations following incidents.  

The Fire Fighters Charity is the number one provider of Rehabilitation and Recuperation services to the UK fire community. It runs three national centres which offer a range of services to serving and retired firefighters, support staff and their dependants. And needs around £9 million per year to operate. Funded solely through donations from the public and Fire Service Staff.

This year’s winner of the Shield is Market Drayton Fire Station.

Over the past twelve months they have arranged a number of successful events including Car Washes, Raffles, a Station Open Day and other events which has resulted in over £2,278 being raised for the charity.

Although a team effort, a special mention must be made for FF Sally Eynon, who over the last twelve months has raised a substantial sum of money with her ‘Sally’s Wrekin Walk’. This event saw Sally climbing and descending the Wrekin every week, in all weathers, in full fire kit and breathing apparatus while completing her basic training to be an operational ‘on call’ firefighter.

Pictured below: On behalf of Market Drayton Fire Station, firefighter Sally Eynon collects the Dave Bishton Charity Shield for raising £2,278 for the Fire Fighters Charity.

The Telent Charity Shield is presented people who have made an outstanding contribution to charity. This year the award goes to Temporary Group Manager Rob Corfield who is working in the Operations department at Shrewsbury fire HQ.

Councillor Jean Jones said: “Rob has made an outstanding contribution to the ongoing success of the Firefighters charity for more than a decade. He coordinated the activities of the then Fire services Benevolent Fund, dealing with everything from referrals for personnel to attend the charity’s respite homes for recuperation to dealing with the retired firefighters association and surviving partners.

“In the early days until the charity decided to channel funding to alternative initiatives Rob allocated Christmas hampers to ex colleagues. He championed and encouraged the annual car wash events which have been one of the main contributors to the charity from this organisation for many years.

Rob carried out the role diligently for nearly 11 years without seeking or receiving any kind of formal recognition and was instrumental in generating a significant amount of money for this worthy charity. Without contributions such as his, the charity would have struggled to deliver the level of support it is now able to provide nationwide.”

Pictured below: Rob Corfield receives the award from fire authority member Councillor Jean Jones.

The link to download images from last night's ceremony is below for you to download free images.



19th May, 2015