Today the spotlight is on the three nominees in the Emergency Services Award category in our countdown to the Examiner Community Awards. The winner will be revealed at the awards night a week on Thursday at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Tomorrow we turn our attention to the three who have made the shortlist for Friend of the Year.
Easy Fireplace in Milnsbridge are a proud local family business established more than 11 years and prides itself on working within its community and shouting about Huddersfield.
With more than 180 displays in its Milnsbridge #HD3 Showroom it has something for everyone including gas, electric, wood burning with a bespoke service and its premium brand Envy collection.
Supplying the local community and further afield with its products is just one part of the business.
Community support and the work we do is another and we are proud to support the Examiner Community Awards evening again and sponsor the Emergency Services Award.
Being a proud Ex Royal Signals armed forces personnel, Easy Fireplace director Christopher Worsley understands the pressure the emergency services have on them day in and day out.
He said: “It is my privilege to have my company sponsoring and supporting these amazing people who don’t get enough respect for what they do.
Have a great night all and congratulations to everyone.”
Gavin is a courageous firefighter who also has a strong sense of community spirit.
He has been involved in some of the toughest firefighting rescues in recent times and is also anxious to help charities and good causes.
Although a full-time firefighter at Rastrick Fire Station, he is also a retained firefighter in Slaithwaite where he lives and was a community first aid responder for Yorkshire Ambulance Service for five years.
Two life-saving rescues he was involved in was a severe flood in Calderdale and an horrific lorry crash.
Gavin, 35, and firefighter Andrew Lockwood risked their lives to save a man trapped in a raging torrent of floodwater.
They were called out to help an elderly man whose Land Rover had been caught in the rising flood waters at Mytholmroyd
They managed to pull the man from his submerged car as the vehicle filled with water, despite the potentially fatal risk of slipping into surging floodwater themselves.
They reached the car in a dinghy, climbed onto its roof and then broke through the sunroof to reach the driver who was suffering from shock and hypothermia.
They had a snap decision to make – wait for back-up or take a risk.
Incident Commander Lee Benson said: “Should anyone have entered the water around this vehicle then there would have been little chance of stopping themselves being pulled into the main river and the outcome could have been fatal.
“Both individuals knew this and yet without a second thought affected the rescue.”
Gavin, two other firefighters and a police officer all received Royal Humane Society awards after a lorry crash on the A629 Calderdale Way at Elland.
The lorry came to rest on the driver’s side of the vehicle, leaving the driver badly injured with his right arm almost severed. Gavin was the first into the cab and pushed his fingers against the man’s arteries to stem the blood flow before a tourniquet could be applied. It was part of a magnificent team effort which saved the driver’s life ... and his arm.
Royal Humane Society secretary Dick Wilkinson said: “There was fuel swilling around. There is always the danger of fire or an explosion but these four put any thoughts of that sort of thing out of their mind and their one aim was to save the driver’s life.”
When Gavin heard about a seriously ill five-year-old, Zack Barrett from Kirkheaton who has a rare, aggressive form of brain tumour, he organised a visit to Rastrick Fire Station where Zack became an honorary firefighter and sorted out for Father Christmas to drop by on a special visit just for him.
Gavin’s daughter Leah was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was a toddler which inspired him to organise Rastrick firefighters to collect toys for children stuck in HRI and Calderdale Royal Hospital at Christmas. A Just Giving page raised well over £2,000.
Gavin is married to Helen. Leah, 11, is now fine and they have another daughter, eight-year-old Megan.
Pc Charlotte Saville and Pc Christopher Hill
It was a vicious attack on a main Huddersfield road ... and the two officers who spotted it knew they had to act quickly to save potentially two lives.
Pc Charlotte Saville and Pc Christopher Hill were driving along Bradford Road, Fartown, just before midnight when they spotted a fracas.
A defenceless man on the ground was being attacked by thugs wielding a machete, an axe and a bat and a member of the public had bravely tried to intervene to stop it but he was then attacked and his shoulder fractured.
The officers sounded their car siren which caused the suspects to stop attacking the victim. The attackers walked away and the officers immediately battled to arrest them but they were, to say the least, unco-operative which resulted in the officers having to deploy CS gas to restrain them.
Pc Saville and Pc Hill were nominated for their prompt actions by Anne Rollinson from West Yorkshire Police, who said: “The victim received serious injuries as a result of this attack. I believe that without the intervention of the member of the public and the officers, his injuries would have been much worse and potentially life threatening.
“All three of them displayed real bravery by putting their own safety at risk in order to assist the victim.
“The prompt arrest of the suspects helped the investigation as without this it would have been a lengthy and difficult process just to try and identify them.”
During the subsequent court case it was revealed that the member of the public stepped in when he saw two men “chopping” at the head of another man with a machete and a meat cleaver.
He was struck on the shoulder with the blunt side to an axe which caused the shoulder injury by a 47-year-old Fartown man who later admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm, affray and having an offensive weapon and was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years with a six-month curfew.
Pc Hill, 46, has served 10 years in the police and before then he was in the Royal Navy specialising in mine warfare. He is married with one son.
Pc Saville, 26, has served for three years and before that she was a 999 call handler and then a PCSO.
Pc Michelle Lewis
PC Michelle Lewis bravely tackled a domestic violence thug who was trying to kill his victim.
Her bravery meant that she saved the woman’s life.
Pc Lewis, 46, and three other officers responded to a 999 call and could hear screaming coming from inside a house in the Holme Valley.
As she spoke to the man through an open ground floor window, the victim was at the top window screaming at officers for help.
Pc Lewis then managed to force the window open but the attacker went upstairs to confront the victim again.
Pc Lewis clambered in, followed the suspect upstairs and managed to detain him even though he was 6ft and well-built.
Another officer said that it was one of the worst domestic incidents he had attended and looked like a murder scene. The man had threatened to kill the woman and then kill himself and, having hit the victim’s head with objects such as a large glass bottle and a laptop, he had also tried to drink bleach to kill himself.
As Pc Lewis went upstairs she saw the amount of blood on the stairs and walls, a large number of potential weapons and the state of the victim who had several terrible head injuries.
She also knew that an officer was struggling to get through the window while a colleague was trying to break through the front door.
Anne Rollinson from West Yorkshire Police , who nominated Pc Lewis, said: “Despite all of this, despite the suspect towering over her and despite the fact the suspect was attempting to attack the victim again as she approached, Pc Lewis managed to get the suspect down onto the floor before being joined by another officer and eventually arrested.
“There is no doubt that had Pc Lewis not gained entry and detained the male as quickly as she had, the suspect would have further injured the victim and possibly even carried out his threat to kill her. He may have had time to make another attempt on his own life and there is the possibility his attention could have turned to the very young children still inside the house.
“Pc Lewis undoubtedly saved at least one life, fully in the knowledge that her backup was struggling to get to her and the fact that the suspect was much stronger and bigger than she.”
Pc Lewis said: “You just don’t think about yourself in these situations, you just need to try to protect somebody and the victim was in serious danger.
“I was fully aware I was putting myself at risk but for me that is the job and a member of the public always comes first.”
The man was later jailed for three years.
Pc Lewis has been in the police for seven years after working as a property developer and then with Kirklees Council tackling anti-social behaviour.