27 October, 2022

Commissioner Zoë encourages public to vote for their Public Choice Awards 2022

Commissioner Zoe, outside, in front of her office
Commissioner Zoë, North Yorkshire Police, and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are inviting the public to vote for their Public Choice Awards 2022.

North Yorkshire Police (NYP) and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) are inviting the public to vote for their Public Choice Awards 2022.

The Annual Awards have been a staple in the North Yorkshire Police calendar for a number of years, and last year the awards were extended include North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service.

A panel chaired by Zoe Metcalfe, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, shortlisted three entries from each service and now we want the public to vote for the Public Choice Award winner from each service.

The six individuals shortlisted (three for Police and three for Fire) for this award have demonstrated significant commitment in their roles this past year and gone above and beyond to provide an exceptional service.

The winners of the three Public Choice Awards will be announced by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner at the joint Annual Awards event next month. The event will also include awards for staff from our joint Police and Fire staff function enableNY, Lifetime Achievement Award, and the presentation of the Glenn Goodman Trophy for the most outstanding Special Constable.

Zoë Metcalfe, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: 

“The Public Choice Awards remind us to recognise and highlight the extraordinary work that our brave Officers, Firefighters, volunteers and other Police and Fire staff provide to go above and beyond for our communities, helping people to be safe and feel safe wherever they are and whatever they are doing.

“One of the priorities within both my Police & Crime and Fire & Rescue plans is to enhance positive culture, openness, integrity and public trust in Police and Fire services, with a personal pledge to work tirelessly to restore and renew that trust if confidence has been shaken.

“These awards present the opportunity to reinforce confidence by showcasing some of the amazing work being done across our County, and I want to personally say thank you to North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service for continuing to work hard to protect us during challenging times.”

Voting closes at midnight on Wednesday 2 November.

Police citations 

PCSO Nichola Shearing and PC Joshua Snaith

PCSO Nichola Shearing and PC Joshua Snaith are nominated for their bravery, courage and compassion in dealing with a distressed woman who was on the wrong side of the railway bridge at The Stray, Harrogate.

First on the scene was PCSO Nichola Shearing. Believing the woman was about to jump in front of an oncoming train, PCSO Shearing held onto her with all her strength to prevent her from dropping some distance below onto the track, in front of an oncoming train.

Getting assistance from an (unknown) member of the public, Nichola was then able to hold onto the distressed woman and also radio an update requiring immediate assistance from response officers.

Next on scene was PC Joshua Snaith who, without hesitation, climbed onto the bridge ledge itself whilst Nichola and the member of the public held onto the woman and pulled her over the edge and onto the right side of the bridge.

PCSO Shearing and PC Snaith demonstrated exceptional care and compassion in dealing with the distressed woman, explaining what they were doing, explaining any use of force, and taking steps to minimise the use of force where possible.

They undoubtedly saved the woman’s life and ensured she got the appropriate support.

Both officers also thank the member of the public who assisted them – they, too, showed a great deal of compassion in assisting them with the incident.

PCSO Nicki Dobson

PCSO Nicki Dobson is nominated for her relentless commitment to her work in safeguarding children and young people at risk of exploitation.

Nicki has been a PCSO in Harrogate for 16 years and in that time has honed a specialism and expertise in child exploitation, ensuring that children and young people’s voices are heard.

In 2016, to better understand the needs of families and young people who experience exploitation, Nicki worked with Pace (Parents against child exploitation). She has since been able to share her learning and experiences with colleagues and is at the heart of pushing forward the agenda of tackling child exploitation matters within Harrogate district.

Nicki has assisted many young people out of cycles of exploitation and has ensured that multi-agency partnerships are created and enhanced throughout Harrogate, putting the young people at the centre of multi-agency decisions.

PC Luke Alderson

In April this year, PC Luke Alderson was off duty and travelling to a family get together when he came across a serious road traffic collision which had just taken place in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

The incident involved several vehicles, including an HGV and multiple cars. It was a chaotic scene with drivers, passengers and members of the public in a state of shock and some suffering severe, life-threatening injuries.

Luke quickly realised the most severely injured was the man driving the car which had collided head-on with the HGV. Luke worked hard alongside an off-duty paramedic also on scene to try and establish an airway for the driver but despite their best efforts, the man sadly died of his injuries at the scene.

Also in the car was the driver’s partner and his son. Luke showed immense strength and resolve, continuing to support the woman who was trapped in her seat and the boy in the back of the car who had suffered a broken arm in the collision and was in a state of shock.

As well as supporting the family, Luke took responsibility for managing the scene of the incident before back-up arrived. He administered first aid, ensured scene safety, directed members of the public and worked with other emergency responders.

Luke has young children himself and called upon his years of experience and training to deliver a calm and purposeful response to a traumatic situation.

Following his work on scene, Luke also provided a detailed and timely account to his colleagues at South Yorkshire Police, supporting their investigation.

Cast Your Vote – North Yorkshire Police Public Choice Award

Fire citations

 Simon Cossins, Temporary Watch Manager, Scarborough

In July 2021 Simon showed incredible courage and bravery in rescuing a couple who had been severely injured by cows whilst out walking in the North Yorkshire countryside.

Two adults in their mid-50s were walking with their two dogs in the North Yorkshire Moors through a field of cows in a remote location, far from the beaten track. Simon was also walking his dog in a nearby location and saw the couple being surrounded by cows – he tried to warn the couple to get out of the field because the cows were about to attack.

Simon then witnessed the man being trampled and thrown up in the air by the cows, and the woman being pinned to the fence and trampled. One of the couple’s dogs remained at the man’s side and was uninjured, the other dog was trampled but managed to run away.

Putting himself and his own dog at huge risk, Simon went into the field and dragged the couple away from danger over a wall. The cows were deterred by Simon’s dog who distracted them.

Simon then ran a good distance to get a phone signal and liaise with the control room to give the location and state what help was needed.

Simon looked after the two casualties for 40 minutes before the ambulance paramedics reached them. Both casualties spent some time in intensive care with significant injuries following the incident.

Had it not been for Simon’s actions this could have been even more serious.

Ewan Hewett, Temporary Crew Manager, Tadcaster.

Ewan has worked extremely hard to help vulnerable individuals and groups within the North Yorkshire community, including Afghan Refugees and those struggling with their mental health.

During a visit to a local hotel which had become a re-housing centre for refugees, Ewan recognised an opportunity to deliver fire safety messages to them. Breaking down cultural and language barriers, Ewan used translators from the hotel and other resources to create a fire safety presentation in English, Pashto, and Persian.

Using social media, Ewan then organised a winter clothing drive, as many of the refugees arrived with no adequate winter clothing. There were enough donations to help more than 100 refugees.

Ewan is extremely passionate about mental wellbeing. Having had extensive training in this area, he can recognise early signs and symptoms if anyone is struggling with their mental health.

Ewan facilitates mental health awareness days, has spoken about the subject in radio interviews to generate awareness and understanding and arranged training for crews in mental health awareness.

Bronya Meadley – life-saving support

In May 2022, Bronya Meadley was working in the North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue control room when a call came in for an incident at a home near Skipton.

The caller was a woman in immense distress as she was trapped in her bathroom due to a fire in her home.

Bronya quickly took the details she needed to mobilise the fire appliances to head to the location and to support the fire crews in their emergency response and then continued to give lifesaving advice to the woman.

Bronya stayed on the phone for around 30 minutes, providing advice, support and reassurance to the woman while the fire service responders made their way to the scene.

During this time, the woman was coughing and choking as smoke entered the bathroom. Bronya continued to talk to her, keeping her calm and updating her on the progress of the responders.

As the smoke levels increased, the call became more and more challenging and Bronya was greatly concerned for the woman’s safety. Once responders arrived on scene, they entered the house and were able to safely rescue the woman using a smoke hood.

Thanks to Bronya’s calm and reassuring support and the courage of the fire crew, the woman thankfully made a full recovery from the incident.

Bronya remained professional, reassuring and measured throughout this incredibly difficult situation. The advice and reassurance she gave to the woman undoubtedly helped save her life.

Cast Your Vote – North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Public Choice Award