Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Paul wins award for his work with the deaf community

Community Safety Officer Paul Pemberton was recognised for the excellent work he has done with the deaf community at the Heart Essex Heroes Awards last week.

Paul won the Adult Achievement Award for the excellent work he is doing in raising awareness of Fire safety within the Deaf community in Essex.

He was presented with the award at a glittering ceremony held in Chelmsford City Racecourse at Great Leighs on Friday July 10.

Heart Breakfast Presenter Martin Day said: “The winners’ stories are all amazing – these are the individuals who are working to improve their communities and make a real difference.

“Their courage, kindness and hard work are an inspiration to us and all of Essex.”

Martin’s co-host Su Harrison added: "This is a fantastic occasion to recognise some remarkable individuals just like Paul – people you might not usually hear anything about – whose stories are moving, uplifting and an honour to share."

Paul has been learning sign language and working with the Southend Deaf Club for a number of years and decided to use everything he has learned to create and deliver fire safety messages aimed at the deaf community.

Paul teamed up with profoundly deaf ECFRS fire cadet Grace Gilmore to create a series of British Sign language fire safety videos aimed at Essex’s deaf community throughout deaf awareness week in May. Since then he has been hard at work creating links with organisations and community groups to further spread safety messages including producing new monthly fire safety videos.

Paul said: “I was delighted to receive this award. It is great to get this kind of recognition for the work we are doing and it is something I will cherish.

“As a Service we work hard to make sure our safety information and advice reaches as many people as possible and I view the work I am doing with communities, including the deaf community, as an extension of that.”

Acting Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley said: "It is great to see the work that Paul is doing recognised in this way. I am extremely proud of the prevention and protection work we are doing and would like to congratulate Paul on winning this well-deserved award.”

To learn more about the work Paul is doing visit the website here:

The Deaf Awareness week videos can all be viewed here

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