Well-deserved EFEs won at Fire and Emergency Awards 2021

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has received two Excellence in Fire and Emergency trophies (EFEs) at this year’s Fire Magazine Fire and Emergency Awards.

At a ceremony in London on Friday 3 December, the Prevention team topped the Collaboration of the Year category and Firefighter Pete Owens won the Young People’s Supporter of the Year.  

The service was also shortlisted for the Burn Awareness Campaign and the Community Support Management Team for the Team of the Year awards.

A lot of hard work has paid off for volunteer cadet coordinator

Pete Owens, a firefighter at Chester Fire Station, is also a volunteer cadet unit coordinator at Winsford Fire Station.

He received the award for an astonishing 22 years of voluntary service and dedication to working with young people.

In his role, Pete arranges weekly activities at the station while finding a way to get cadets outdoors – organising activities, camps and social trips.

However, last year Pete was set to take 13 cadets on a trip of a lifetime to North-Eastern Nepal to build a classroom in Solukumbu District. The trip saw each cadet raise £3,600 towards the £14,000 target for flights, accommodation and materials to build the classroom.

Sadly, due to coronavirus restrictions the plan could not go ahead.

Yet, the cadets and leaders exceeded their fundraising target and managed to secure an amazing £30,000. This money will be used to construct the classroom in their absence.

Many have commented on Pete’s infectious energy to implement the Cadets’ fundraising ideas from supervising bag packs in local supermarkets, organising fire station car washes, to using the cadet fire engine to attend wellbeing events.

He is the key driving force in getting his team to participate in service-wide fundraising events including attending ‘Woof Mudder’ (a canine version of the popular Tough Mudder event) to use their own-design equipment as a safe and humane way to wash dogs off, as fire engine hoses pack quite a punch.

Volunteer co-ordinator Claire Bennett said: “Pete’s enthusiasm to make this expedition a success for his cadets shines through.

“He deserved to win this award because, without the Pete’s of this world, many young people may never achieve their full potential, find their voice or believe in themselves.”

Safe and Well team going the extra mile

The Safe and Well (S&W) team won their award for their work collaborating with the Directors of Public Health for Cheshire and Merseyside (CHAMPS) to offer a blood pressure and hypertension checks as part of their Safe and Well visit offering.

Although the service already offered a check for atrial fibrillation as part of the visits, the team went one-step further with the introduction of checks for life-limiting hypertension.

Early identification along with the reduction of hypertension and high blood pressure is one of CHAMPS key objectives.  

High blood pressure is a common yet largely preventable invisible risk factor for serious medical conditions including heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and dementia.

Between April 2019 and March 2020, a staggering 32,443 safe and well visits were completed by the service; 23,865 were to 65+ year old households and 15,253 (64%) consented to be offered health and wellbeing checks, of which 832 consented to blood pressure checks. Congratulations to both winners on their awards and to our shortlisted nominees – the Community Support Management Team for Covid-19 response in the Team of the Year category and the Prevention Team for Burn Awareness Week in the Innovation of the Year category. 

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