13 October 2016

A Fire Control Room operative who stayed on the phone to support two young boys while they awaited rescue from a house fire, was among those recognised during an awards ceremony.

Watch Manager Helen Wilson was awarded the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation at the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service Awards, which took place on Friday at Kettering Conference Centre.

Helen, who has worked with the Fire Service for 28 years, took the 999 call made by 15-year-old James Scott when he and his brother 11-year-old Liam became trapped in their fire-stricken home in Briar Hill, Northampton, in November, 2015.

Manager Helen Wilson was awarded the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation


During the ceremony, Chief Fire Officer awards were presented to the boys, to reward the courage and bravery they showed in keeping calm until fire crews were able to reach them.

The Chief Fire Officer's Certificate of Appreciation was also awarded to Red Watch, The Mounts Fire Station and Red Watch, Mereway Fire Station for their combined efforts, leading to the rescue of the boys.

Helen said: “I was surprised to hear about my award as I think it was a team effort. When I was on the phone to the boys I just tried to reassure them as much as possible, to make sure they were going to be alright.

“The boys were marvellous, they did ever so well. If they had been panicking, the whole situation would have been much more difficult to deal with. It feels like forever when you are on the phone in a situation like that, but in reality it was only about six minutes. You are always aware that you are only going on what that person has told you on the phone and you can never be quite sure what is happening.”

The awards list also saw Queen’s 20 Year Long Service Medals awarded to Fire Service staff including: Group Manager Barry Mullan, Firefighter Dale Betts, Firefighter Deborah Ashmore, Firefighter David Goode, Crew Manager Gary Robinson, Group Manager Jim Dorrill, Crew Manager Martin Bramwell, Firefighter Michael Manley, Firefighter Paul Sinclair, Area Manager Robin Porter, Watch Manager Rob Steward, Crew Manager Harvey Childs and Watch Manager Tony Evans.

A statuette was also presented to retired Watch Manager Danny Heagren in recognition of his 40 years service to the community.

Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey said: “My congratulations go to everyone who received an award. All of those presented with Long Service awards have demonstrated significant hard work and commitment to their roles in the Fire Service and it is with great pleasure that we recognise their contribution.

“The amazing courage shown by Liam and James Scott, and the professionalism shown by Helen, who helped keep them calm on the phone in such a frightening situation, deserves to be recognised and I’m delighted they received these awards.”

All award winners at the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service Awards