05 January 2015

Firefighter Geoff Spokes has been recognised for his 40-year career with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service in the New Year’s Honours 2015.

Geoff, who retired from his role as watch manager at Long Buckby fire station in October, was nominated for the British Empire Medal in honour of his work to introduce a voluntary co-responder scheme in Northamptonshire.

His efforts have resulted in 16 retained fire stations across Northamptonshire introducing their own co-responder teams, who are trained to provide life-preserving medical aid until an ambulance or rapid response vehicle arrives at the scene.

'True ambassador'

Cllr André González de Savage, county council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection, said: “I’m delighted that Geoff – who has devoted 40 years to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service – has been recognised with this incredible honour.

“His BEM is hugely deserved for his work in establishing the ground-breaking co-responder scheme in Northamptonshire and acting as a true ambassador for the project to ensure its success.

“Co-responding has now been adopted by firefighters across the county, with medical co-responding now accounting for 22% of all emergency incidents attended by the fire service. This would not have been possible without Geoff’s hard work and commitment.”

Geoff, 62, introduced the pilot co-responder scheme in Long Buckby in 2006 and within the first six months there was an 80% improvement in category A attendance times in the village.

Community work

Geoff is also an active fundraiser for The Firefighters Charity and has raised more than £23,000 to support serving and retired firefighters, as well as serving on Long Buckby Parish Council and as a magistrate.