Off duty firefighter receives top bravery honour A South Yorkshire firefighter has been honoured with the service’s highest bravery award.
Crew Manager Paul Holbrook was off duty when there there was a road traffic collision on the M18 North motorway involving three vehicles.
The collision in September last year saw a driver thrown from one of the cars and left his passenger trapped in the vehicle – which was overturned. Paul was travelling with his family that day on the same stretch of motorway, and was caught in the traffic jam caused by the collision.
Upon seeing the incident ahead Paul left his vehicle, with traffic stood still, and ran to the scene. Once there, he identified a substantial petrol leak and immediately took charge of the incident.
He assessed the casualty and removed her from a difficult position in the overturned car before moving her to a place of safety. He then stayed with her on the hard shoulder and continued to provide casualty care. When crews arrived he was able to provide a full handover and continued to help all three blue light services until the casualties were taken by the ambulance service.
Presenting Paul with a Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation, CFO James Courtney said: “It is quite clear that in doing what he did Crew Manager Holbrook displayed bravery and complete selflessness. He went forward to help when he had the option not to – displaying the true values of the fire and rescue service.
“The on-duty Watch Manager, who took over the scene from Paul, has since praised his quick thinking and his actions – which stopped the incident from escalating and, most importantly, potentially saved this lady’s life.”
Paul was presented with a certificate in front of family, friends, colleagues and Fire Authority members at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s Central fire station in Sheffield.