Mearns firefighter among crew honoured for rescue

The crew receiving their award from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Kenny Smith Photography
The crew receiving their award from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Kenny Smith Photography

A fire crew, including a senior officer from Laurencekirk, have been honoured for rescuing a Moray man in need of urgent hospital treatment.

They were called in last February to help safely remove
the patient from a house in Elgin.

The crew used their specialist training to remove the living room window and a large section of the exterior wall of the house and garden to create a safe pathway out of the property.

The team, from North Anderson Drive Fire Station in Aberdeen, also worked through testing weather conditions, including heavy sleet - completing the operation in less than one hour.

And their efforts have earned them recognition at this year’s Brave@Heart ceremony, organised by the Scottish Government, where they were presented with an award by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The crew are watch manager Denis Chalmers - Ellon, crew managers Euan Cargill, Laurencekirk and Scott Hamilton, Aberdeen, with firefighters Neil Barnett, Ellon, Jack Miller, Arbroath, Raymond Forsyth, Ellon, Michael McArthur, Bridge of Don, Ross Moran, Aberdeen, Neil McDonald, Ellon and Graham Taylor, Inverurie.

Watch manager Chalmers was the SFRS incident commander.

He said: “The weather conditions were really horrible and our crews were met with heavy sleet and wind.

“But we made great progress using specialist equipment to cut away and remove the concrete blocks from below the window area to allow full access after 45 minutes.

“We had members of the crew inside and outside the property to keep the casualty and his family updated throughout the process.”

The patient was taken to hospital by ambulance.

The crew recently attended the awards in Edinburgh, which recognise acts of bravery and heroism across the emergency and voluntary sectors in Scotland, as well as commending members of the public.

David Farries, SFRS Deputy Assistant Chief Officer responsible for the protection of communities across the north of Scotland, said: “The crew can be extremely proud of the way they expertly handled this incident in challenging conditions.

“The Brave@Heart award is a testament to the determination of our highly-skilled firefighters and the effective collaborations with our emergency partners.

“I’d like to congratulate everyone who was involved in the safe removal of the patient.”