Three Bolton firefighters honoured for long service

This Is Lancashire: Darren Collier Darren Collier

THREE Bolton firefighters have been honoured for long service and good conduct with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service.

The three men were presented with medals in recognition of 20 years of exemplary service.

The medal, officially awarded by Her Majesty the Queen, was presented by Warren J Smith, JP Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester.

Watch manager Tom Bailey, has worked as a fire and safety officer in Bolton for eight years. He has spent time as a firefighter in Broughton, Leigh, Atherton and Hindley.

The dad-of-three said moving to work in community safety was challenging because it was so different.

He added: “It’s very different because you work on an individual basis and you’re dealing with businesses and enforce-ment so it’s quite a responsibility.

“But I really enjoy it. I’ve enjoyed all the jobs I’ve done in the fire service.”

Fellow recipient James Bracegirdle has spent the majority of his career at Bolton North station in Crompton Way.

He said: “During the past 20 years I can say I have attended almost every kind of incident we can possibly deal with, from the Manchester Bomb in 1996, to floods, house fires and helicopter and hot air balloon crashes.

“I still enjoy waking up with a smile on my face and going to work, no matter what the day throws at me. I enjoy working in the community and talking to schools and youth clubs teaching life-saving skills.”

During his career Mr Bracegirdle, who has two daughters, has been awarded two commend-ations, one for being part of a crew that rescued a 16-year-old boy from an house fire in Daubhill in 1999.

Darren Collier has worked from Bolton Central station since 1998 after joining Bury station.

In 2012 he received a Chief’s Commendation after saving the life of an injured cyclist while off duty.

The dad-of-four has also raised £20,000 for The Christie by taking part in Ironman competitions as well as completing marathons in New York, Boston and Chicago for the Fire Fighters Charity.

He said: I really enjoy working as part of a team and helping others.

“I also like learning something new every day.”

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