Members of Cannock crews receive Commendation

Members of Cannock Crew One received the Chief Fire Officer's Commendation on Wednesday 17 November for their exceptional bravery.

At 10:48pm on Monday 23 August, two crews from Cannock were called to reports of a single-vehicle collision on Rugeley Road, Hazelslade.

Upon arrival to the scene, crews discovered a vehicle, well-alight, which had collided with a tree. The flames had engulfed the vehicle which was now on its side, and had spread to the surrounding trees.

Firefighters bravely extinguished the fires.

Whilst Cannock Crew Two searched the area for other vehicles or ejected persons, Crew One sadly discovered a male, in his 20s, deceased in the vehicle.

Station Manager Stuart Ruckledge, who attended the incident as Tactical Advisor said: "Having been in the service for 24 years, this incident was up there with the absolute worst.

"Watch Manager Russ Brown was exemplary in the management of this incident from start to finish. His professionalism and support for both crews was outstanding.

"He detailed the crew of Cannock two to search the surrounding area whilst Cannock one crew had the distressing task of cutting the body from the car, which limited the exposure to members of the crews. This was a great decision.

"In addition, three crew members (Cannock one) had all served less than two years. FF Damian Wood, FF Abbi Walker and FF Maciej Drywa carried out the firefighting and then spent over an hour cutting an access point into the car.

"FF Andrea Johnson spent her time getting equipment and passing radio messages and volunteered to go and get refreshments for the crews".

"I believe the crew of Cannock one should be commended for their actions given the nature of the incident and at no point did any of them stand down. I offered at several stages for individuals to say no thank you but each of them just carried on and gave 110%."

Watch Manager Russ Brown and firefighters Andrea Johnson, Abbi Walker, Maciej Drywa and Damian Wood all received the award for their work on this incident.

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