Today we reveal the three nominees for Emergency Services Personality in our countdown to the Examiner Community Awards next Thursday at the John Smith’s Stadium. The winner will be announced at the glittering ceremony hosted by ITN newsreader Nina Hossain who comes from Huddersfield. Tomorrow we will let you know who is on the shortlist in our Friend of the Year category.

He has dedicated all his adult life to being on call to help others.

Firefighter Kevin Sykes has recently retired after being a retained firefighter in Holmfirth for more than 40 years.

By volunteering for the role the 63-year-old was just 22 when he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father.

As well as being on call, his grandfather, Harry Sykes, was caretaker at Holmfirth Technical College, while Kevin’s father Roy Sykes worked in transport maintenance for John Turner Engineering.

Retained firefighters undergo the same training as their full-time colleagues and must pass twice-yearly fitness tests. They also have to keep up to date with technological developments.

On leaving school Kevin worked at Holmfirth Vauxhall dealer Midlothian Garage in the bodyshop and rose to become bodyshop manager in 1980. He joined the fire service as a retained firefighter in 1976.

Firefighter Kevin Sykes recalls 'cow stuck in a bath' story as he retires after 40 years

Kevin said: “I had to get permission from the garage owner, John Bowden, who was very community-spirited and sanctioned it straight away. If he hadn’t, I might never have joined the service.”

Kevin said: “The most fulfilling part of the job is when there’s a happy outcome – when you’ve rescued someone’s beloved animal that got trapped.”

Recalling one unusual incident, Kevin said: “One morning we got a message about a cow stuck in a bath. We went out to a field where there was a cast iron bath that the farmer had to put water in for the animals.

“There was a half-grown cow, which had run down the field, slipped and become wedged in the bath.”

Kevin is married to Susan, who works part-time at Holme Valley Memorial Hospital. The couple have sons Gavin and Lee, a daughter Anna and grandchildren Caleb, Alicia, Zachary and Austin.

Ian Firth’s passion for his role as an ambulanceman knows no bounds.

During his 37 years working for the service in Huddersfield Ian has spent countless hours of his own time teaching first aid in schools, scout groups and army cadets among many others.

The 59-year-old has also taught Duke of Edinburgh candidates, a road safety scheme for children so they could go back to their schools and teach other youngsters and also a scheme called Prison, Me, No Way! trying to steer young people away from a life of crime and drugs by talking alongside police, prison officers and relatives of crime victims.

Ian, of Milnsbridge, is an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician and has been a station officer for 16 years, an operational supervisor and has mentored many new starters who have gone on to become paramedics, control room staff and in managerial roles.

Examiner Community Awards. Emergency Services Personality nominee: Ian Firth.

Ian was nominated by his sister, Diane Gibson, who said: “You could ask anyone in the service if they know him and they all do and he’s held in very high regard. They all say he’s a ‘lovely bloke’. He has spent many hours supporting local charities, he’s made large wooden games he’s sold for charity, he’s done bed pushes - far too many things to mention.

“Ian is a very modest man who has done so much for the ambulance service, the community and he’s stepped in countless times to give medical help to anybody in distress that he’s come across while he’s out and about.

“He isn’t one for seeking out recognition or praise but he deserves it. He’s due to retire at the end of this year and for him to be considered for this award would be like the thank you he’s never asked for and never had for his hard work, loyalty and passion for the ambulance service and for helping and caring for people for all these years.”

Ian has just written a book about his years in the ambulance service called From A White Rose and a Butterfly.

He is married to Wendy and they have two sons Adrian, 33, who is an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician just like Ian, and Ben, 32.

Volunteer Bill O’Brien is a truly extraordinary lifesaver.

He became a Community First Responder (CFR) for Yorkshire Ambulance Service in October 2015 and since then has volunteered an incredible 10,000 hours and attended more than 900 incidents.

No less than 28 of them have been cardiac arrests.

Unbelievably, 65-year-old Bill also runs his own technology business, System Vision Ltd in Holmfirth.

When he’s on call - usually at night and weekends - he has his emergency response kit on ready to be out of the door within seconds.

Sometimes this is five or six nights a week and he simply cat naps while fully dressed.

Community Awards: Emergency Services personality. Volunteer community responder Bill O'Brien.

A CFR is a member of the public trained to attend life-threatening 999 calls before an ambulance gets there - and these can include heart attacks, strokes, seizures and diabetic comas. Bill reckons he’s there first around 80% of the time. He responds to call within a three-mile radius of his home but will travel up to six miles.

In March 2016 Bill became the co-ordinator fo the Holme Valley scheme based in Holmfirth, a 14-strong team of CFRs who give their time like Bill simply to help others.

He was nominated by John Spikings from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), who said: “Nothing is too much trouble for Bill, whether its travelling a little bit further to see a patient, booking on call for a few hours more when demand is high or even supporting YAS in other ways such as attending local galas and introductory evenings to meet potential new volunteers.

“Bill has been instrumental in the 20 community public access defibrillators in the Holme Valley from organising training sessions, finding a venue to site the defibrillator or, on some occasions, even installing the cabinet to the wall. These are available 24/7 to anyone who is in need of a defibrillator by calling 999.”

John added: “Bill is a truly selfless individual.”

Bill said: “The only reason I do this is to make a difference. I lost a good friend to a cardiac arrest and often thought that if someone had been there at the time if he could have been saved. I’m very much involved in training people about CPR and teaching them not to be afraid to be hands on.”

He is married to Gena and the couple have two children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.