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Fundraising Firefighter wins Award!

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is delighted after Station Commander Dom Furby picked up the Supporter of the Year Award in recognition of his tireless fundraising efforts for The Firefighters Charity.

The Station Commander for Todmorden, Mytholmroyd and Illingworth was presented with the accolade at the star-studded Spirit of Fire Awards 2014 in London on Friday.

Soap stars and real life couple Nicole Barber-Lane (of Hollyoaks fame) and Liam Fox (of Emmerdale) presented SC Furby with the achievement.

Hosted by The Fire Fighters Charity and presented by Newsreader Nicholas Owen, the Spirit of Fire Awards honour members of the fire community and public by recognising acts of bravery and dedication.

SC Furby said: “To achieve this award is absolutely fantastic – I am very pleasantly surprised, especially considering the stiff competition in my category!”

SC Furby won the award for his exceptional support and outstanding dedication to The Fire Fighters Charity in the past 12 months. Heading up the team of charity reps within West Yorkshire, he is the brain behind the exceptionally popular firefighter charity calendar ‘Red Hot Dates.’ This year, he built on that success with a female version – Red Hot Sirens!

SC Furby has promoted numerous national and regional fundraising initiatives in his own inimitable way, resulting WYFRS outstripping the rest of the country in a recycling scheme which turns unwanted goods into revenue for the charity.

John Parry, Chief Executive of The Fire Fighters Charity, said: “Our congratulations go to Dom Furby and each and every one of our finalists, what they have done has marked them out as exceptional and we hope that receiving the recognition and applause from the distinguished Spirit of Fire audience will last a lifetime.”

WYFRS Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling added: “I am absolutely delighted for Dom and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. This is without doubt a much deserved award and reward for his unstinting commitment and enthusiasm for all things charity. 

“Dom always leads by example and is involved with several fundraising initiatives at any given time.  I am so pleased that his efforts and energy have been recognised by the charity as he really is an inspirational and caring individual.”

In this year’s awards the brigade was shortlisted in the Fire Service of the Year in recognition of our collective fundraising efforts for the charity. However, we were pipped to the post by The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Shipley Fire Station Watch Manager Mick Titmarsh was also shortlisted for this year’s Beneficiary of Courage Award.

The Friday awards ceremony was an event to remember. After meeting VIPs including The Right Honourable Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for communities and local government, at a special Downing Street reception, nominees made their way to the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel. There they received their awards during a prestigious ceremony presented by Newsreader Nicholas Owen.

Commenting on the achievements recognised at The Spirit of Fire 2014, Eric Pickles MP said: “The Spirit of Fire Awards proudly showcase the very best of our fire and rescue service, as well as showing our admiration for those who have battled in the face of adversity, or demonstrated dedication to The Fire Fighters Charity. It was a true honour to meet and recognise the charity’s supporters and beneficiaries at the Spirit of Fire Downing Street reception.”

A stellar line-up of presenters included Larry Lamb, John Partridge, Jacqui Hames, John Conteh, Bhasker Patel, Rudolph Walker, Lorraine Chase, Fiona Wade, Liam Fox, Nicole Barber-Lane, Daniel Roche and Niamh McGrady who joined host BBC Newsreader Nicholas Owen at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London.