Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Firefighters commended for lifesaving actions at a flat fire

Four firefighters from Waltham Abbey Fire Station and Brentwood Fire Station have received Chief Fire Officer commendations in recognition of their lifesaving actions following a flat fire in Cheshunt on 11 May, 2021.

Chief Fire Officer / Chief Executive Jo Turton visited Waltham Abbey Fire Station on Monday 16 August to present Chief Fire Officer Commendations to Crew Manager Mav Langdon, Crew Manager Brenden Cardy and Firefighter Robert Bull from Waltham Abbey Fire Station and Firefighter Daryl Chapman from Brentwood in recognition of their lifesaving actions at the flat fire.  

Station Manager Dave Bond from Waltham Abbey Fire Station and Area Manager James Palmer, along with a crew from Brentwood also joined the presentation. 

Jo Turton presented the CFO Commendations to the crew for their courageous actions that gave a man fighting for his life the best chance of survival.

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service also recognised their crews involved in this incident with Group Commander Commendations to highlight their quick actions in rescuing the man and woman trapped in the flat fire.

Chief Fire Officer / Chief Executive Jo Turton said: "It gives me great pride to present the commendations to the crew. Their perseverance in a situation like this, when all hope could have been lost, is commendable beyond words.

"The way the crews worked as one team and dealt with this very high-pressured situation was exemplary. They gave the man the best possible outcome of survival and it is truly remarkable. They all demonstrated compassion and professionalism, and I am incredibly proud of them."

Station Manager Dave Bond said: "Our crews were called over the border to a flat fire in Cheshunt and worked with firefighters from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

"The woman was rescued by Cheshunt crews down the ladder, and the Cheshunt Breathing Apparatus crew found the casualty unconscious in the flat and brought him out the front door, where our crews took over his care.

"Our crews carried out CPR on the man for around 10 minutes. During this time, the defibrilator that we were carrying on the fire engine analysed the casualty three times, and at all times it found no shockable rhythm, meaning there was no heartbeat detected to shock. The crews thought the casualty had passed away.

"The crews continued to work on him and their hard work meant that just as the ambulance turned up and were about to take over, colour had returned to his face, and the ambulance crew detected a faint pulse. The man had suffered significant burns and was placed in an induced coma. At the time of the incident his injuries were described as life changing but not life threatening.

"I am incredibly proud of the professionalism and dedication shown by our crews and our colleagues from Herts Fire Service on that day. The joint working between both services, and the clear communication shown in an incredibly challenging situation was key to giving the man a fighting chance when the initial outcome looked bleak.”

Waltham Abbey Fire Station is recruiting on-call firefighters. If you live or work within 5 minutes of Waltham Abbey Fire Station, you could be paid to protect your community.

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Page last updated 17 August, 2021

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