Chief Fire Officer Commendations 2022

Firefighters from across the West Midlands have been honoured with Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Commendations for displays of courage, professionalism and operational excellence.

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Published on 21 December 2022

Ahead of our Chief Fire Officer’s retirement in the New Year, a number of firefighters from across the West Midlands have been honoured for displays of courage, professionalism and operational excellence.

Trainee Firefighter Jack Howdle, Firefighter Aimal Khan, Crew Commander Phil Shee, Firefighter Robert Edwards, Crew Commander Sam Stockley, Watch Commander Ian Wroe, Area Commander Martin Ward-White and five members of Tipton fire station’s Blue Watch were those recognised.

Phil Loach, our Chief Fire Officer (CFO), praised the recipients for their outstanding efforts in the line of duty.

He said: “Day and night across the West Midlands, our staff do amazing things to make our communities safer, stronger, and healthier.

“I am delighted to recognise a number of them with commendations, and hope that our communities share my pride in all of their outstanding actions.”

Peter Arnold, Alex Jarvis, David Owen, Tom Soar, Jordan Uppa all holding their certificates.

Martin Ward-White – CFO Commendation

Area Commander Martin Ward-White has been acknowledged for his actions at two incidents on the same evening.

On his way to an escalating fire at a recycling plant in West Bromwich, Martin came across a car crash. With no emergency services in attendance, Martin used his own car with blue lights to stop traffic and alerted our Fire Control, who dispatched crews to aid a woman who was trapped. Martin stayed with her until they arrived, completing a full handover before continuing to his original call.

When he arrived at the fire, Martin oversaw an operation across three industrial units that involved approximately 300 tonnes of compressed cardboard.

Jack Howdle, Handsworth Fire Station – CFO Commendation

Trainee Firefighter Jack Howdle has been recognised after his off-duty actions when a litter picker fell into a canal.

Jack spotted the incident from a nearby restaurant, and immediately responded by calming down the member of the public, who was beginning to panic in the cold water.
He then used a broom and a chair to free the woman from tangled weeds.

Phil Shee, Wolverhampton Fire Station and Sam Stockley, Fallings Park Fire Station – CFO Commendation

After being called to a rapidly spreading house fire in Kingswinford in August, Crew Commanders Phil Shee and Sam Stockley had to think quickly and act bravely to save the lives of two adults and a child.

They were the first to arrive at the scene and worked together to perform the rescues.

Fire engines arrived shortly afterwards, but the pair’s rapid actions ensured lives were saved.

Ian Wroe, Highgate Fire Station – CFO Commendation

Watch Commander Ian Wroe has been commended for his off-duty quick thinking and medical intervention that helped save a man’s life.

Ian was playing golf in Derbyshire when he heard a collision on a nearby country road.

A car had hit a wall. Ian used a golf club to smash get to an unconscious man inside. Calling on his firefighter trauma training and experience, he delivered CPR and used a defibrillator from the nearby golf club. The patient was flown to hospital by air ambulance.

Hayley Vincent, Fire Control – CFO Commendation

Firefighter (Control), Hayley Vincent, has been awarded a Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation for her compassionate and measured response to an incident.

Hayley took a call from a woman faced with a distressing and ongoing situation at her home address.

For half an hour, Hayley worked to keep the caller calm, while relaying information to fire control colleagues and personnel who responded.

Hayley’s professionalism, coupled with the teamwork of her fire control colleagues and those at the scene, achieved a positive result which meant a relative of the woman received much-needed care.

Aimal Khan, Aston Fire Station – CFO Certificate of Appreciation

Aimal Khan collects a Certificate of Appreciation after his persistence and teamwork ensured a vulnerable adult wouldn’t be left without heating throughout the winter months.

Aimal was made aware of a man who had been without access to hot water or gas for over eight months – a situation he was able to resolve in five days.

After multiple attempts to contact the energy supplier, a colleague suggested reaching out to the Financial Ombudsman. Thanks to information provided by Aimal, the service able to make the critical breakthrough in getting urgent repairs made to the property.

Aimal’s perseverance, coupled with the initial referral made by Erdington Green Watch, shows the impact of teamwork.

Robert Edwards and Sam Stockley, Fallings Park Fire Station – CFO Certificate of Congratulations

Firefighter Robert Edwards and Crew Commander Sam Stockley collect a Certificate of Congratulations after rescuing two members of the public from a house fire in incredibly difficult conditions.

The heat was significantly hotter inside the house than expected, due to the number of plastic records and clip frames inside. This also meant navigating thick black smoke throughout the property.

They worked in unison to get the two causalities out of the property, in conditions they both agreed were the hottest they had experienced in 17 years’ service.
Sadly, one male passed away at the scene, and the other died in hospital.

Peter Arnold, Alex Jarvis, David Owen, Tom Soar and Jordan Uppal, Tipton Fire Station – CFO Certificate of Appreciation

Members of Blue Watch at Tipton Fire Station were given Certificates of Appreciation for their calm and caring response when three children sought refuge at the station because of circumstances at home.

The team also contacted a family member who came to the station and was also made to feel welcome, safe and secure.

Work commenced with West Midlands Police and council colleagues to ensure the correct wellbeing procedures were in place before the family returned home later that evening.