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Hero Windermere firefighter in line for Pride of Britain award
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, sponsored by ITV’s 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 driving on the A66 when he came across the bus crash which claimed the lives of 15-year-old Kieran Goulding and Chloe Walker, 16.
The fireman instantly leapt from his car and took control of the emergency. He called for help, and performed life-saving first aid on some of the injured children. The 45-year-old rem-ained calm, and in constant communication with Fire Service Control, providing them with the most up-to-date information, so when the team arrived they were able to respond immediately. Mr Barton is no stran- ger to picking up awards as he also won 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 had 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 commen-dable, 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 when I say how proud we are of Mike, and his colleagues.”
Keswick School’s dep-uty headteacher 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 travelled to London with Assistant Chief Fire Officer Adrian Buckle on Tues-day to join presenters Aled Jones and Lorraine Kelly on the sofa in the Daybreak studio for a chat. There are three other finalists in the running for the award, and the winner will be decided by a panel of judges. The winner will be announced at a ceremony, hosted by Carol Vorderman, on October 29 and broadcast on ITV1 the following night.