Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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A COUPLE have thanked a firefighting duo who went to their rescue and provided first aid when they were involved in a serious collision while riding their bikes.
Rich Philips and Linda Jennings nominated Stretford Blue Watch Firefighters Kevin Williams and Jim Hutchin for a Wow! Award following the incident on Friday, June 6, 2014.
Left to right are Borough Manager Tony Holt, Linda Jennings, FF Jim Hutchin, FF Kevin Williams and Rich Philips.
The couple were returning from taking part in the Manchester naked bike ride - an event aimed at raising awareness off carbon emissions and cycling - when their bikes collided at around 8.15pm, causing Linda to fly over the handle bars and hit the ground.
Kevin and Jim were riding an aerial appliance and were returning to Stretford Fire Station from an incident when they spotted the couple.
Jim said: "We saw a bit of a commotion and as we got closer we could see Linda on the floor and I said to Kev 'we're going to have to stop'.
"Because we were on the aerial appliance we didn't have all the kit we have on a fire engine but we had a first aid kit and there was a first aider already on scene so between us we were able to look after her."
The firefighters gave first aid and kept Linda warm with a blanket while also providing care to Rich who'd suffered a cut to his arm.
Linda, aged 47, from Horwich, broke her collarbone, knuckle and ribs and suffered cuts to her head and body. She was taken to hospital and is now recovering from her injuries.
On Wednesday, July 9, Rich and Linda were reunited with Kevin and Jim at Stretford Fire Station in Park Road, where they met the rest of Blue Watch at a presentation of the award.
Trafford Borough Manager Tony Holt presented a certificate and cake to the firefighters and short speeches were given by Rich and Andrew Fisher from the Wow! Awards.
Rich, aged 49, from Simister, said: "I want to thank Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) for making it possible for us to meet the firefighters who helped us and to thank them officially.
"The hospitality we have received from the Service as a whole since the accident has been overwhelming.
"When the accident happened we were in shock, injured and vulnerable. The calm assurance of the firefighters filtered through all the noise and panic and helped us to cope with what was a scary situation.
"Without the actions of Kevin and Jim I just don't know where we'd be now - they are outstanding individuals who no doubt are a great source of pride to their families, colleagues and the whole of GMFRS."
Chair of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: "Firefighters deal with a whole range of emergencies - from house fires and road traffic collisions, to chemical spills and floods - and all our firefighters are trained in first aid.
"Kevin and Jim are a shining example of how our firefighters are always ready to respond to an incident - no matter what the situation - and I want to congratulate them on their award."
Over the last year, GMFRS has piloted the WOW! Awards and invited members of the public to nominate staff who they feel have particularly impressed them.
The WOW! Awards are the UK's only national awards for customer service and are based purely on customer nominations.
Whether it's for a community engagement activity, a station visit, Home Safety Check or in response to an incident, GMFRS wants to know what it's getting right.
For more information about the awards, or to make a nomination, visit /contact_us/wow_awards.aspx