In an emergency call 999

General enquiries call 0300 330 1000

Fire Control commended for life saving call

June 25 2018

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has commended a team of Fire Control Operators for their actions during a fire call.

I can't thank them enough. God knows what would have happened if we didn't have this fantastic service. Thank you all once again.

Isabelle Andrews

White Watch were recognised on Tuesday, June 19, for their actions on Tuesday February 13 when they received a 999 call from a resident in Sidney Avenue, Stafford, reporting a fire in her home. 

Isabel Andrews, who is in her 30s, was showering when she was alerted to a fire in her hallway by smoke alarms, however the fire left her trapped in her first floor flat. 

Control Operator Nicola Smith took the call and reassured Isabelle, advising her to go to a safe room and close the door, placing cushions around the doorframe to stop the smoke getting into the room. She also advised Isabel to access fresh air via some French doors and as the smoke was rising around her told her to stay low to the ground. 

Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant said: “Nicola gave Isabel life saving advice during this extremely high pressure situation. This meant she was safe while the firefighters put out the fire and made their way to her, but more so she kept her as calm as possible and continuously reassured her throughout the call.” 

The rest of the control crew involved in the incident were also recognised for working so efficiently as a team to keep the resident safe and calm whilst gathering essential information and passing that information to the crew enabling them to rescue her as quickly as possible. Watch Managers; Joanne Gilbert, Michelle Cherry and Mandy Gordan along with the other Control Operators Matt Bettany, Matt O’Lune, Katie Scoyne, Jessica Siviter and Rachel Smith were recognised for their work. 

Becci added: “This was such a great example of fantastic teamwork and professionalism during an incident which was undoubtedly destressing for the resident involved and the operators dealing with the call. The entire Service works as a team and Fire Control are front line staff whose work is not always at the forefront of people’s minds when they think of the fire service but without them we would not be able to keep our communities safe. Their actions are worthy of this great recognition.”

Isabelle made a surprise visit during the commendation, along with her dog Archie who was also in the flat at the time of the fire, and thanked the control crew personally for helping her through the incident along and kept her safe by giving her life saving advice. 

Isabelle said: “I am very grateful for the fire crew and for Nicola who I was speaking to on the phone for their actions that evening. I can't thank them enough. God knows what would have happened if we didn't have this fantastic service. Thank you all once again. “