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A SALVATION Army major who has dedicated his life to helping firefighters across the UK has been made Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Major Nigel Tansley has deployed his Salvation Army Catering Unit to around 500 incidents across the North West of England – handing out more than 70,000 Mars Bars and countless cups of tea to grateful firefighters.
Since 2002 Major Tansley has led a team of 120 volunteers who respond to fires and other emergencies to provide welfare for firefighters, police officers and paramedics.
But Major Tansley doesn’t just hand out Mars Bars, he lends his ears to staff across Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) having served as the Service’s lead Chaplain for 12 years.
During his time as GMFRS Chaplain, Major Tansley has helped hundreds of firefighters bear witness to terrible suffering.
He said: “I have worked with fire services, on and off, since 1977 and have counted it a joy and privileged.
“I have been present when firefighters have made the ultimate sacrifice and am grateful to be able to give something back (if only a cup of tea and hot dog!)
“When I first had the letter about the award I honestly was shocked and speechless and as it slowly dawned on me what it all meant, I was humbled.
“This award means so much more to me as it comes from those I try to serve.”
Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, added: “We would like to congratulate Major Tansley on his honour – it is thoroughly deserved.
“Major Tansley and his team of volunteers are always a welcome sight for our firefighters when they arrive at an incident.
“His work as our Chaplain for more than a decade has made an immeasurable difference to the lives of our firefighters, who deal with tragedy and suffering on a daily basis.
“Major Tansley continues to be a vital part of our service and has helped us recruit ten more chaplains, so we can offer our staff even more support in the future.”