Honour for the fire chief who has carried out a lifetime of rescues

Medal: Colin Pickles at Illingworth fire station with his long-service award
Medal: Colin Pickles at Illingworth fire station with his long-service award

A firefighter who has helped hundreds of people in blazes, accidents and rescues has been given a medal for his service.

Watch Commander Colin Pickles, who works at Illingworth fire station, has been presented with the long-service and good conduct award for completing 20 years with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

He has spent all his career at Calderdale fire stations, starting in Todmorden and working in Elland and Halifax before moving to Illngworth where he has been for the last 10 years.

Watch Commander Pickles, 49, said; “Firefighting is something I’d wanted to do since I was young.

“It’s different every day and it’s not sitting behind a desk.”

He was presented with his medal by Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Ingrid Roscoe at a ceremony also attended by West Yorkshire Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling.

“It is on the dedication and professionalism of men and women such as these that the reputation of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has been built, and it’s on their loyalty and commitment that it will continue to thrive,” said Mr Pilling.

Mr Pickles said; “It was nice to receive the medal and see other people there. There were some I joined with but have not seen for 20 years.”

Watch Commander Pickles, who lives in Pye Nest, is married to Anna and has a 25-year-old daughter Vanessa.

He enjoys scuba diving and holidays abroad.