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Awards for bravery
FIRE and rescue workers and members of the public were today (Monday, March 18) awarded commendations for their actions in two emergency incidents.
The first drama unfolded when fire County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service crews from Crook went to rescue three people trapped in their car in deep snow near Tow Law, Crook, on January 25.
Deep snow made it impossible for the appliance to reach the car.
Station manager John Walkden who arrived in a Landrover took firefighter Stephen Finlay to the stricken car, where they rescued three occupants and their pet dog.
The Landrover then also got stuck. Mr Finlay said: “I was just thinking this could be serious when we were spotted by local farmer Jim Smith.”
Mr Smith pulled the Landrover out with his tractor, as well as the appliance.
He said: “I’m embarrassed. I don’t know what all the fuss is about.”
Stuart Errington, director of community protection, said: “I have no doubt that the actions taken by John, Stephen and Jim helped save the lives of the people trapped in their car.”
The second rescue involved members of the public Colin Hughes and 15-year-old Andrew Bannister, who went to the aid of a pensioner trapped in her burning house in Rowley Crescent, Esh Winning, near Durham City, on February 4.
They forced open the bathroom window, lifted the woman out and carried her to a place of safety to await the arrival of the emergency services.
Susan Johnson, chief executive of the fire and rescue service, said: “We are extremely proud to formerly commend out staff and the three members of the public for their brave actions.”