“If I was anywhere else other than the fire station I would be six feet under.”
These are the words of Crew Manager David Ling who had a heart attack on a drill night at Stockbridge Fire Station.
Firefighters Joshua Barnes and Alistair Reynolds, Crew Manager Ian Tranham and Watch Manager Rick Mawer, who saved his life, collected the Chairman’s Award at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Celebrating Success.
David was attending the weekly evening event, where on-call firefighters practice procedures and train, on February 19.
He collapsed on the drill yard and his colleagues quickly began to deliver the medical treatment they had learned as part of their Immediate Emergency Care training.
They performed life-saving CPR with the aid of a defibrillator and oxygen therapy, with the watch manager traveling with him in the ambulance and continuing to work to keep him alive.
David said: “I remember going out in the backyard at 7.30pm… and that’s all I remember.
“If I’m honest if it wasn’t for those boys I would not be here. Anywhere else and I would be six feet under. I’m quite adamant about that… because they done me good.”
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority Chairman Chris Carter said: “Our firefighters are accustomed to dealing with all kinds of incidents where they save lives.
“However, having to resuscitate a colleague and friend while still remaining calm and calling on your skills and training must be among the most challenging situations one can find oneself in.
“This is another example of our high calibre firefighters exemplifying excellence and also the perfect way to highlight the reason we give our teams a high level of medical training.”
Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin praised the Research and Intelligence team members who learnt sign language to communicate with deaf co-worker Wendy Read.
The Team of the Year award is to recognise Wendy’s courage and the team’s dedication to working together without boundaries.
He selected 38-year veteran Watch Manager Danny Randall as Individual of the Year for his commitment to the community and wider fire service family.
Danny has served at Yateley Fire Station since it opened and has been stoic in his support of Mick Paull’s family following the Odiham watch manager’s death earlier this year.
This was the 13th annual Celebrating Success and was held at Victoria House, Hampshire Constabulary Headquarters, Netley, hosted by Heart Radio breakfast presenter Zoe Hanson, with HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire Nigel Atkinson as special guest.
Other awards on the night include a 50-year meritorious service medal for Alan House who created the practice of giving out these accolades while he was deputy chief fire officer.
After 42 years of operational service he became a volunteer historian and archivist for the service.
He is also founder of Hampshire’s Past Members Association, editor of the group’s magazine and founder chairman of the Hampshire Police and Fire Heritage Trust which set up the first joint service museum.
He is also chairman of the Fire Heritage Network UK, a trustee and archivist for the Firefighters Memorial Trust and a team leader for the Red Cross Emergency Response Team.
Another landmark anniversary was marked when Paul Reynolds was presented with the Sports and Social Association Award for being the auditor for 50 years starting in 1968.
The award for Innovation of the Year was won by Tom Codling and Richard Haines for their work on Safe and Well procedures.
These free fire safety visits for the vulnerable in the community have improved lives and made people safer.
The Partnership of the Year was scooped by Simon Mortimore and Vivienne Parsons of South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) whose work with the Research and Intelligence team will improve communication between fire, police and ambulance.
The accolade for Supporting Organisation of the Year was picked up by Chloe Loughlin from Sainsbury’s Depot in Basingstoke for the company’s ongoing help with vital training exercises and scenarios.
The supermarket allows access to their site for scenarios even providing old vehicles to be used to practice extrication.
Watch Manager Craig Sadler was recognised with the Charity Supporter of the Year award for the tireless work he does helping to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for numerous good causes.
Watch Manager Pete White and the Fordingbridge team of Steve White, Firefighter Paul Dorrington and Crew Manager Ross Freeman won the Hampshire Fire Fighters Charity Award for the events they have put on to support this cause so close to the heart of the service.
The team are behind the Fordingbridge 10k and the famous Party in the Park. They also organise fundraising car washes and have completed the Three Peaks Challenge.
The Volunteer of the Year award went to Ringwood Fire Cadets. The instructors meet with cadets every Friday and empower young people to reach their full potential. Six of the former cadets now work for the fire service.
CFO Neil Odin said: “This event provides us all with the opportunity to reflect upon the fantastic work of the service.
“I think it is so important to recognise and rejoice in our history and traditions, as well as celebrating the innovations and new ways of working that make us one of the most admired fire and rescue services.”
FULL LIST OF LONG SERVICE MEDAL WINNERS
20-Year Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Watch Manager Paul Burton, Rushmoor
Area Manager Rob Cole, Community Safety
Crew Manager Stephen Fox, Rushmoor
Firefighter Shaun Grady, Fareham
Firefighter Mark Hilton, Fareham
Crew Manager Stephen Jolliffe, Southsea
Crew Manager Jonathan Marshall, Winchester
Watch Manager Neil Perry, Community Safety
Group Manager Alex Rhodes, Service Headquarters
Watch Manager Craig Sadler, Cosham
Crew Manager Alex Snook, Hightown
Watch Manager James Tickner, Havant
Station Manager Justin Turner, Community Safety
Watch Manager Stuart Vince, St Mary’s
Karen Farr, Service Headquarters
Station Manager David Heybourne
Group Manager Dan Tasker
30-Year Meritorious Service Medal
Crew Manager Gary Cross, Service Headquarters
Watch Manager Timothy Gray
35-Year Meritorious Service Award
Crew Manager Robin Bates
40-Year Meritorious Service Award
Lee Phillips, HFRS Academy
Area Manager Jane Reynolds-Smith, Response