Two firefighters given bravery commendations

Two firefighters from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service have been honoured with a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.

Nigel Quarmby and Colin Burgess were recognised with the commendation for their efforts in rescuing a woman from the River Mersey in 2018.

Based at Warrington Fire Station, the crew were alerted at around 9.10pm on Saturday 22 September following reports of a woman threatening to enter the River.

While at the scene, the woman fell into the water and became caught up in the fast flowing Mersey.

Despite the obvious risk to life, Firefighter Quarmby and Firefighter Burgess entered the water using a line secured to the waterside in order to move closer to the woman.

Unfortunately, she had already been swept away by the current and the rescue line was not long enough.

Firefighter Burgess used himself as the tether for Firefighter Quarmby to wade into the water to provide enough line to reach the casualty.

Both firefighters managed to pull the woman from the water and take her to safety through deep mud and poor visibility.

Due to the quick thinking and determinedness of Firefighter Quarmby and Firefighter Burgess, they saved the woman’s life.

They were both nominated for the accolade and received their commendation following approval of the George Cross Committee.

A gallantry award recognises those who have put their lives in danger to save the life of someone else. The recognition is judged on the degree of risk, how aware the nominee(s) were of the danger to themselves and their persistence to save the person.

Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin said: “The service is extremely proud of the quick thinking and brave actions of Nigel Quarmby and Colin Burgess on the evening of 22 September 2018.

“This was a high risk incident where a life could have been lost. Thankfully, a woman’s life was saved due to the actions of the watch and particularly Firefighter Quarmby and Firefighter Burgess.

"They both showed courage and determination in the most difficult of circumstances and they accepted significant risks to their own safety to save someone’s life.

“I was delighted to present the watch with a Chief Fire Officers Commendation in recognition of their efforts and for Nigel and Colin to receive such high recognition as the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery is very well deserved.”

Last updated: Monday 14 June 2021

Related images

Firefighter Nigel Quarmby with Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin and Firefighter Colin Burgess with Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin