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Windermere firefighter finalist in Pride of Britain awards
11:17am Monday 15th October 2012 in News
A WINDERMERE firefighter has been selected as a finalist in The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain awards.
Mike Barton is in the running for the Emergency Services Award as sponsored by ITV Daybreak for the role he played in starting the rescue plan in the immediate aftermath of the Keswick School bus crash in 2010.
Off-duty at the time Mr Barton, who works at Barrow fire station, was travelling on the A66 and arrived at the scene of the bus tragedy very shortly after the collision which killed 15-year-old Kieran Goulding and Chloe Walker, 16.
Jumping into action immediately, Mir Barton started the rescue process while waiting for his on-duty colleagues to arrive.
He reviewed the situation, kept in touch with fire control, and as the rescue crews arrived he was able to brief them with the relevant facts and actions allowing them to start the rescue process immediately.
Mr Barton is no stranger to picking up awards as he has also scooped the top prize of Firefighter of the Year at the Fire Fighters Charity Spirit of Fire Awards in 2011.
"I’m really honoured to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award but in all honesty, I was just doing what any other firefighter would have done if they’d found themselves in the same situation,” said Mr Barton.
Cumbria’s Chief Fire Officer Dominic Harrison said: "To have a Cumbrian firefighter nominated for the Pride of Britain awards and be recognised on a national scale is fantastic and Mike is a very worthy candidate.
"His actions in the immediate aftermath of such a terrible and tragic incident were commendable and a testament to the training and skills of all our firefighters.
"I’m sure I speak for everyone else in Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service as well as myself when I say how proud we are of Mike and his colleagues.”
Keswick School’s Deputy Head Teacher Tania Gibbin said: “It has been a difficult two years for the school and many of our pupils are still suffering from the effects of the accident. We cannot begin to imagine the effect this has had upon the families. Kieran and Chloe will always be in our memories.
“Thanks must be given to all the emergency services personnel and the pupils and staff who have helped and supported each other through this period.”
Mr Barton will be travelling to London along with Assistant Chief Fire Officer Adrian Buckle on Tuesday 16 October and will join presenters Aled Jones and Lorraine Kelly on the sofa in the Daybreak studio for a chat. There are three other shortlisted finalists in the running for this award and the winner will be decided by a panel of judges.
The winner will be announced at the star studded awards ceremony hosted by Carol Vordaman on October 29 and broadcast on ITV 1 the following evening.