The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) held a medal ceremony on Friday (20 November) at the Linlithgow Burgh Halls honouring Fire Service personnel for long and meritorious service.
Chief Officer Alasdair Hay, Chair of the SFRS Board Pat Watters and Deputy Chief Officer Alex Clark were joined at the event by the service’s head of service delivery for the East of Scotland, Deputy Assistant Chief Officer (DACO) John Miller.
Nine officers received Her Majesty the Queen's Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal which were presented by Chief Officer Hay. Thirteen officers also received The Chief Fire Officer’s Certificate of Commendation, which is awarded to members of the fire and rescue service in recognition of outstanding acts which are regarded as above and beyond the call of duty.
Chief Officer Alasdair Hay said: "I am delighted to be here to present these Commendations and Long Service and Good Conduct medals to these members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service family.
"Each and every recipient has earned this recognition, not only for their long and loyal commitment to the service, but for their exemplary conduct over the past 20 years. They are all a credit to themselves, their families, their communities and the organisation.”
The Royal Warrant was read out by DACO Miller and the Long Service certificates were presented by Chair of the Fire Board Pat Watters, who also provided the closing remarks. In attendance were members of the Strategic Leadership Team, Local Seniors Officers and managers from the East Service Delivery Area.
The Long Service and Good Conduct medals are presented to staff who have served 20 years or more with the fire service. The recipients of medals were firefighters Kevan Younger, Michael Sherdley, Ernest Hinks and Craig Mackie; crew managers David Renton and Kevin Davanna; and watch managers David Hepburn, Kevin O’Hara and Iain Brocklebank.
Deputy Assistant Chief Officer John Miller said: “I would like to pay tribute to the effort, commitment and time shown by all the recipients of these medals. Our firefighters do an excellent and often challenging job to ensure our communities are safe.
“This medal not only recognises their tremendous commitment to their roles and the length of time they have served the communities in which they live, but also the exemplary conduct they have displayed during their service which makes them a credit to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.”
The first Chief Officer’s Commendation went to Firefighter Andrew Fish, who was competing in a Triathlon at the Lochore County Park, Lochgelly, Fife on 14 June 2015, when he came across a fellow competitor who had become unwell and non-alert during the swimming section.
While in the water FF Fish very quickly established the severity of the other participant’s condition, summoned a safety kayak and motor powered safety boat whilst trying to maintain the casualty’s airway. Being an SFRS qualified Level 4 swift water boat operator, FF Fish was able to advise the safety boat crew on the best means of removing the casualty from the water before climbing into the boat himself in order to render immediate first aid.
Firefighter Craig Mackie and Firefighter Jamie Gillin both received commendations for casualty carer roles at a road traffic collision on 27 September 2015. They were travelling to work at Methil community fire station along the A942 outside Pittenweem, whereupon they came across a two vehicle road traffic collision. They undertook primary surveys of the casualties and administered appropriate care, staying with them to assist the fire service crew who were sent in response When the casualties had been safely extricated, FF Mackie and FF Gillin then proceeded to their work.
Commendations also went to watch managers Andrew Anderson and Kevin Ketchen, Crew Manager Lee Turnock and firefighters Christopher Bates, Antony Blunsum, Ian McKay, Bryan Rocks, Iain Todd, Lee Wyllie and Alan Williamson, as well as member of the public Susannah Clark. Whilst attending a wedding at Airth Castle on 11 July 2015, they all responded to help Daniel Wade when he collapsed at the start of the main meal.
It was established that he was having a cardiac arrest and the individuals involved worked as a team to perform CPR for an extended period of time an ambulance arrived. Their immediate action undoubtedly saved Mr Wade’s life.
A national trial and a first for Scotland involving Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) to increase survival rate of patients who suffer out of hospital cardiac went live last month in selected areas of Scotland.
Firefighters at these stations have received enhanced training in life-support, through a joint partnership approach with the Scottish Ambulance Service as part of a range of measures it has in place across the country to target the condition and create a nation of life savers. The trials are part of SFRS’s commitment to supporting the Scottish Government’s Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Strategy, which aims to dramatically increase patients’ survival chances and save as many as 1,000 lives by 2020.
Chief Officer Hay said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is dedicated to protecting the public and we are tasked with working in partnership with others to improve the safety and wellbeing of people throughout Scotland. Close working between ourselves and our ambulance colleagues clearly benefits the public and we will always look for opportunities to develop it further.
“These trials are among a number of ways in which we are delivering on our commitment to supporting the Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest strategy. We will also work with our ambulance colleagues to ensure the location of all our defibrillators is mapped on their database and that these are placed where evidence shows they will offer the greatest benefit.”
Chair of the Fire Board Pat Watters said: “These awards are not given out lightly so it’s a tremendous pleasure to be here. Thank you to each and every one of you for your commitment to the service.”