The achievements of staff across West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service have been recognised through the service’s Recognition and Achievement Awards Ceremony.
A child who protected his mum from danger, and a firefighter who went above and beyond to put food on a residents’ table were among those to have been commended.
To begin last night’s celebrations, 32 long service and good conduct medals were presented to members of staff that have served within the fire and rescue service for 20, 30 and 40 years. The medals were presented by the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, Lady Emma Barnard.
Fifteen Commendation Awards were then presented by the Chief Fire Officer to those who have been recognised for providing exceptional public service.
Among the winners were Dan Moon and Wayne Challen, off-duty firefighters from Midhurst who saved their friends life when he experienced a heart attack. Dan and Wayne were awarded the Community and Partnership Award.
Jamie Cox was recognised as Charity Champion for raising thousands of pounds in memory of well-loved and much-missed colleagues – Crew Manager Mark Butler and Watch Manager Simon Constable.
Sebby Saich took the Bravery Award home after protecting his mum when she became locked in their home’s lift shift, with the lift precariously above her.
Sebby, who was seven years old at the time, highlighted the dangers of the situation to Bognor fire crews and before they were allowed to enter the property. Sebby warned that they should not press the ‘lift call’ button as this was highly unsafe.
Throughout the incident, Sebby remained incredibly calm and gave fire crews lots of important information to help his mum, including details on how to isolate power to certain parts of the building, gave suggestions on places to look for a lift panel, and even suggested several methods of rescue; asking if they had a battering ram to force the door, a tool to break the glass lift door, a drill to remove bolts or tools to secure the lift on the first floor.
Mark Bateman, Crew Manager at Selsey Fire Station, was presented with the Exceptional Service Award.
When attending an incident caused by a faulty toaster, Mark cooked the elderly resident dinner before leaving the property. The following day he then bought the resident a replacement toaster, using his own money, as he realised that being without the appliance would be a big inconvenience for the resident.
Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “Every year we hear stories of exemplary public service from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service staff at the awards ceremony, which shows just how much time and effort they put into keeping our communities safe and well.
“It is an honour to attend the ceremony each year and formally recognise the dedication and commitment of those who have gone over and above.”
Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Chief Fire Officer, added: “As an emergency service, we are incredibly privileged to be able to help residents when they need it most, often during their darkest hours, but every single one of our recipients has helped to make those hard times a little bit brighter.
“I am delighted to be celebrating those people that have positively contributed to our work, and I am full of complete admiration for their passion to care for others.”
The full list of award recipients are:
Long Service and Good Conduct Medals (20 years):
Marc Bagshaw (Crawley)
Steven Foster (Worthing)
Darren Seymour (East Preston and Training Team)
Robert Baker-Johnson (NILO Regional Lead)
Matthew Gamblen (Horsham and Midhurst)
Martin Taylor (Haywards Heath)
Gary Ball (Area Manager for Service Delivery)
Mark McCarthy (Chichester)
Darren Ware (Henfield)
Adam Condell (Station Manager, Protection)
Stephen Parkes (Horsham)
Philip Wattam (Lancing)
Daniel Covill (Crawley)
Beth Parry-Evans (Littlehampton and Shoreham)
Daniel Wright (Crawley)
Long Service and Good Conduct Certificate (20 years):
Mandy Anderson (Inspecting Officer, Protection)
Long Service and Good Conduct Medals (30 years):
Joseph Bullingham (Operational Risk Manager, Protection)
Steven Hayes (Station Manager, Training)
Richard Tout (Operational Risk Manager, Protection and Arundel)
Christopher Constanti (Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath)
Graham Marchant (Burgess Hill)
Andrew Tredre (Bognor Regis)
Michael Dunham (Training Team)
Jonathan Mays (Station Manager)
Andrew Tullett (Henfield)
Martin Eldridge (Retained Liaison Officer and Petworth)
Russell Moore (Station Manager, National Resilience)
Alistair Green (Station Manager Crawley)
James Mundy (Henfield)
Long Service and Good Conduct Medals (40 years):
Peter Langridge (Turners Hill)
Nigel Purves (Midhurst)