Access Keys:

Skip main menu

15/10/2012 - Fire and Rescue Service heroes honoured

Cumbria County Council's Fire and Rescue Service staff, volunteers and partners have been honoured for their life-saving work at the service's sixth annual awards ceremony.

The Together Towards Success Awards, funded by Nuclear Management Partners (NMP), was held at Armathwaite Hall Country House and Spa at Bassenthwaite on Friday (12 October) to recognise individuals and teams who've gone beyond the call of duty in the interests of public safety.

Unlike previous years, there were no categories in the 2012 ceremony - nominations were scored by a panel of judges and the seven with the highest scores picked up awards.

Winners were:

Kevin Johnston, from Penrith, Temporary Station Manager in Carlisle locality

Kevin scooped an award for his dedication to the care of his team and always being willing to give a hand when required. He's a great problem-solver and contributes good ideas to the management of his stations.

Chris Ellis, CFRS volunteer from Maryport

Twenty-year-old Chris has volunteered with Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) for around two years after completing a Prince's Trust course with the service. Chris has excelled in his mentoring of young people and grown in stature and confidence himself.

Chris Francis, CFRS Business Support Technician from Keswick

Outside of his work with the fire service Chris is a volunteer with the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team and has attended a range of incidents including flooding in Keswick despite his own home being under floodwater. CFRS relies on the work of volunteers, and recognises the value of its own staff volunteering for other organisations.

Cumbria Community Messaging System (CCM) Team

CCM offers people and communities across Cumbria updates via email, text or voicemail on local issues from crimes to major incidents and fire safety events. Set up in partnership between organisations including the police and CFRS and managed by the Cumbria Neighbourhood Watch Association, it now communicates messages to thousands of people around the county.

FireFit Team

This team is made up of CFRS volunteers who run two portable soccer cages and a climbing wall that provide positive sporting activities for young people in Cumbria. FireFit work around the county with the aim of reducing anti-social behaviour while boosting young peoples' aspirations, confidence and health through participating in sport. The team is made up of Alun James (Workington), Chris Ellis (Maryport), Mark Ward (Cockermouth), Alister Smith (Carlisle), James Hawkins (Carlisle), Joe Jolly (Workington).

Adrian Buckle (from Grange) and Val Ayre (from Cockermouth) - HeartStart

Assistant chief fire officer Adrian Buckle and community safety manager Val Ayre, have developed the HeartStart training programme teaching basic life support to members of the public, businesses, voluntary and community organisations, schools, youth groups, women's institutes and young farmers. In 2011 alone the service trained 1,500 people in the county in basic life support and it is estimated around 5,000 have been trained over the past five years. The training is delivered by firefighters, staff and volunteers across Cumbria.

CFRS volunteer HeartStart instructors

HeartStart instructors play a crucial role in delivering HeartStart training to people and groups across Cumbria. Their commitment and dedication mean the HeartStart sessions enhance the reputation of CFRS as well as learning life-saving skills. The HeartStart volunteers are James Hawkins, Alister Smith, Charlotte Jenkins, Megan Fearnley, Derek Plumb and Rus Edgar.

In addition to the seven award winners above selected by the panel of judges, three firefighters were presented with long-service medals for clocking up 20 years' service, Seascale Fire Station watch manager David Moore was recognised for 40 years' service and another four winners were specially selected for awards.

The four additional winners were:

John Moody

John retired from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service 18 months ago but has continued to work tirelessly for The Fire Fighters Charity.

Ewan Turnbull

Ewan is a member of the public who helped save the life of a teenager who'd accidentally set himself on fire in Egremont following an incident with a petrol strimmer.

Phil Stannett, Temporary Watch Manager, Kendal

Phil continues to act as a positive role model for young people and has used NMP funding to get the new Fire Cadets scheme off the ground in Workington.

FireFit Team - an award made by event sponsors NMP

The FireFit Team were selected by NMP for the way they boost young people's aspirations, confidence and health through participation and achievement, particularly in deprived areas.
Councillor Gary Strong, Cumbria County Council's cabinet member for community safety and local services, said: "Our staff and volunteers do some tremendous work in helping keep Cumbria safe and Friday's awards ceremony was a fitting way to celebrate these achievements."

Cumbria's chief fire officer Dominic Harrison, said: "I'm immensely proud of the service we deliver for the people of Cumbria and of all the individuals and teams who work together to deliver it.

"So many people - staff volunteers and partners - frequently go that extra mile and are a credit to Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service."

Graham McKendry, General Manager of sponsors Nuclear Management Partners said: "We are delighted to once again sponsor these very important awards which honour the bravery and dedication of the people who undertake such fantastic work in the Fire and Rescue Service."
For more information contact communications adviser John Ballard on 01228 221752 or

For general enquiries to Cumbria County Council's communications team contact or call 01228 226338/ 221008/ 226601