SIMON HEADLEY WINS BRITISH CITIZENS AWARD

Simon Headley, a selfless emergency volunteer, has been recognised at the House of Lords for his dedication to supporting his community and has been commended for his outstanding commitment to the emergency services. His selfless responsibility has helped him gain one of the country’s highest accolades – a British Citizen Award (BCA). The BCA recognises extraordinary achievements by everyday people who have made a positive difference to the lives of others that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Simon has had a lifelong ambition to work with fire and rescue services and he currently works as a full time administrator at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service. As well as this, Simon is the coordinator for the British Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support and also manages to make time to support three other agencies voluntarily.

He is on call for 12 hours a week as a first responder for the East Midlands Ambulance Service, where he responds to urgent requests and deals with life threatening situations regularly. He also dedicates 12 hours each week to Leicestershire Search and Rescue and chooses to be on call for 48 hours each week for the British Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support.

When asked about receiving his award, Simon said: “Being awarded a BCA is one of the greatest accomplishments I’ve ever received. It’s an honour to be recognised for something I’m very passionate about and has given me so much joy over the years. I was completely shocked when I found out I was being honoured with this prestigious award. I didn’t know too much about the BCAs until I was nominated, but being recognised for the work I do is a huge achievement and I’m very excited.”

He continued: “Even though I’m only a volunteer, I take all my positions seriously because I’m dealing with the lives of others. I want to do the best I can to make the lives of others easier, and be there as a support system for those who need it. I’m always trying to learn new things that can benefit others.”

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FLYING THE FLAG

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service Birstall HQ, Loughborough Fire and Rescue Station and Shepshed Fire and Rescue Station are raising the rainbow flag today (Tuesday 17 May) for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).

This is a worldwide annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, members of the public, opinion leaders and local authorities to the alarming situation faced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people and, all those who do not conform to majority sexual and gender norms.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service are continually working to promote important messages and develop an understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) initiatives, through internal networks, forums and work with other organisations. IDAHOT has been promoted throughout the organisations since 2013 and, in 2014 an award was won for the most improved employer in the East Midlands at the Stonewall Workplace Equality Awards.

Joanna Raisin, Crew Manager at Loughborough Red Watch, said: “It may only be a small act of flying a flag at the station but, hopefully it sends out a strong message of support for the LGBT community, and says that the Service doesn’t tolerate bullying of any sort. We believe that people should be able to be themselves and be proud of who they are.”

‘ShOUT!’ is Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender network, made up of staff members who have a drive to move forward with matters relating to sexual orientation and workplace equality. If you want to find out more information visit our Twitter page @LFRSshout.

RUDOLPH DOING WHAT HE DOES BEST

Rudolph has become a popular figure in the local communities in Leicestershire since he made his first appearance in 1949 and, he has gone on to help raise more than £300,000 over the years. During his time he has had a few make overs to keep him going and now, he is looking better than he ever has.

On Wednesday 27 April 2016, on behalf of the Rudolph Fund Committee, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service’s Deputy Chief Fire and Rescue Officer Steve Lunn presented six charities with their share of the donations collected from members of the public throughout the December 2015 collections.

During the collections Rudolph and his team, which included volunteers and firefighters, travelled around Leicester in the cold and dark winter days to raise this money for the charities, as they have done for many years. They managed to raise a huge £10,758.19 which was shared amongst; After 18, Adapt, Friends of Sycamore Court, Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre (Mablethorpe), Leicestershire Down’s Syndrome Group and When You Wish Upon a Star. All the charities were very grateful for the money they received and are now able to put this into helping out the people who need it.

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Lucy Dalgress, from the charity When You Wish Upon A Star, said: “We organise an annual trip to Lapland for children in the East Midlands so this donation from Rudolph means we are off to see Rudolph!”

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service wouldn’t have been able to do this without the generosity from the members of the public and the commitment from volunteers and staff so, we want to say a big thank you to you all. You have helped us make people in need happy and, it wouldn’t have been possible without you.

Rudolph will be back on the roads this December, after he’s had his long overdue summer holiday and recovered from last years antics. Keep a look out for him again in 2016 – updates on his whereabouts will be release nearer the time.

ARTFUL ROAD SAFETY MESSAGE

With the rise in number of road traffic collisions that Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service now have to deal with, two firefighters from White Watch at Western Fire and Rescue Station have come up with a unique way to get a road safety message across. Ainsley Burton and Rich ‘Mo’ Curtis have put together a piece of graffiti work that is grabbing the attention of all who pass Western Fire and Rescue Station in New Parks, Leicester. This piece of art highlights the Fatal Four safety message with the grim reaper caricatures recreated as never seen before. And what’s more, the creation of this huge wall mural has all been filmed by local photographer, Scott Choucino, and published via various social media channels. With more than half a day’s filming condensed down into a two and a half minute film, the end result is pretty spectacular. Whilst producing the artwork, many local residents who were passing, stopped to ask Mo and Ainsley about what they were doing and also enquired about what the Fatal Four were. The Fatal Four are the four main causes of deaths and serious injuries to drivers on our roads, and a reaper character represents each of these causes. Have a look at the mural and see if you can work out what each of the causes are. If you want to find out if you were right, then visit http://www.thefatalfour.co.uk to see. If you are interested in having a closer look at the completed mural at Western Fire and Rescue Station, please come down to New Parks Boulevard, off Aikman Avenue. And if you want to see just how Mo and Ainsley’s creative talents were put to use to create the mural, watch Scott Choucino’s film here: http://youtu.be/t8qPPyxQyhk

Don’t forget, if you are on Twitter you can follow us on: @LFRSWestern @thefatalfour @LeicsFireRescue and if you are on Facebook you can follow us: http://www.facebook.com/LeicsFireRescue http://www.facebook.com/TheFatalFour