Firefighters who battled horrendous conditions to save a man from a house fire; a maintenance engineer whose expertise helped to free a man trapped in machinery; and off-duty firefighters who used their first aid skills to assist at road traffic collisions; were among those commended by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service at a special ceremony.

The Service's annual Awards Presentation Ceremony saw firefighters and members of the public being recognised for displaying initiative and quick-thinking in challenging, and potentially terrifying, situations attended by the fire and rescue service.

Others receiving awards include NFRS' longest-serving firefighter, who recently retired after 43 years of serving his community, and an innovative community safety initiative designed by retained firefighters in Misterton.

Chief Fire Officer Frank Swann said: "The annual awards ceremony has become an important date in the NFRS calendar, as it gives us an opportunity to recognise the 20 years' service achieved by some of our firefighters, and to acknowledge the important work they do, often in extremely difficult circumstances.

"Even though the role of a firefighter often demands our crews to put themselves into extremely challenging situations, it is important that we recognise when certain individuals have gone above and beyond that which is expected of them in order to ensure the safety and well-being of people in their local communities. The awards ceremony gives us the opportunity to do just that, as well as congratulating some brave members of the public who have also shown great courage and bravery to assist the fire and rescue service at an incident."

The ceremony, held at Service Headquarters in Arnold on November 8, also saw HM Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Sir John Peace, present firefighters with the Queen's prestigious Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, which is awarded after 20 years' service. Employees celebrating 30 years' service were also recognised.

Here are our profiles of the key award winners:

Certificate of Recognition - Central Fire Station's Green Watch

The crew from Central's Green Watch was called to a flat fire in Sneinton in January where, on arrival, they found the occupant hanging from a third floor window, distressed and barely conscious. The crew quickly pitched a ladder and one of them climbed up and attempted to grab the casualty. When the man's feet got stuck on the inside of the window ledge another ladder was pitched, and a second firefighter went to assist. Working together, they were able to free the man and bring him to safety. Throughout the incident, the crews worked in extremely difficult conditions due to torrential rain, wind and thick black smoke.

Certificate of Recognition - Firefighter Andy Turley and Firefighter Dave Turley

Off-duty firefighters Andy and Dave Turley had to draw on all their skills and experience when they came across a car which had collided with the central reservation near Mansfield. As the first on the scene, they quickly assessed the situation and realised that one of the three occupants of the car, a woman, was in extreme difficulty. The woman was unconscious and not breathing. They tried to revive her until she regained consciousness, ensured her airway was maintained and supported her C-spine to avoid further injury. They also made sure the other two occupants, a man and child, were helped out of the car and looked after until the ambulance arrived. Once paramedics were on the scene, the brothers continued to assist in caring for the casualty until she was taken to hospital by air ambulance.

Certificate of Recognition - Firefighter Dennis Rhule (Newark)

Retained Firefighter Dennis Rhule has twice found himself in a position where he could put his skills as a firefighter to good use as a member of the public. While travelling on the A614 at Serlby Dennis was one of the first people on the scene of a road traffic collision. Using his first aid skills he provided basic life support to the casualty, and gave a comprehensive handover to fire and ambulance crews when they arrived. He also continued assisting East Midlands Ambulance Service by performing CPR in the back of the ambulance. Earlier in the year Dennis had assisted an elderly lady whose house was on fire by preventing her from re-entering the building. She was moved to write a letter of thanks to NFRS praising Dennis for his actions.

Chief Fire Officer's Commendation - Phillip Taysum (Worksop)

Worksop resident Phillip Taysum had just left home to take his dog for a walk when he saw smoke coming out from neighbouring property. He immediately went to investigate and, opening the door, he shouted to see if anyone was inside. When he thought he could hear someone he didn't hesitate to go into the house, where he found the occupant on the bathroom floor. The house was heavily smoke logged but Mr Taysum managed to drag the man from the flat and prevented him from going back inside until fire crews arrived.

Chief Fire Officer's Commendation - Michael Muzsla (Ollerton)

When firefighters arrived at a factory to find an employee trapped in a piece of machinery they were thankful that site maintenance engineer Michael Muzsla was close at hand. Using Michael's skills and knowledge the crew was able to work quickly and precisely to free the man, who had suffered severe trauma to his hand, wrist and arm. Michael made himself available and stayed close to the scene, using his in-depth knowledge of the machine's construction to advise crews on which parts to remove to gain better access for their equipment. He was also able to assist in dismantling it using his own tools and expertise.

Community Safety Award - Misterton Fire Station, Risky Rooms

Educating the local community about safety is a large part of what firefighters do, but the crew at Misterton Fire Station has come up with an innovative and highly effective way of doing it! Risky Rooms is an interactive community safety resource that has seen a disused portable building transformed into a physical representation of the Home Safety Check. The 'rooms' include a kitchen, living room and bedroom full of the kind of hazards around the home that may increase the risk of fire. Visitors to Risky Rooms are asked to point out the hazards, coming up with suggestions on how the risk could be eliminated. So far more than 100 people have visited Risky Rooms, and the resource can be tailored to different age groups, making it equally beneficial to children, teenagers, young mums and older people.   

Outstanding Public Service Award - David Beardsall (Retford)

Being a retained firefighter always requires a high level of dedication and commitment, but when that loyalty to the role and your local community spans more than 43 years, it is worthy of special recognition. For the first 33 years of his career as a retained firefighter, Dave, who is known as Barney, also worked fulltime at a local power station. But when the power station closed in 2003 and Barney was made redundant, he decided to dedicate himself to his role as a retained firefighter. Despite retiring from his operational role, Barney continues to represent NFRS as a member of the Service's Ceremonial Squad, and as one of two Retained Support Officers offering advice and support to other retained firefighters in Nottinghamshire. 

Posted 15/11/2012 by