Bexhill firefighters commended after pulling man from burning car in Battle

Firefighter Rob Percival, Firefighter Martin Alford, Firefighter Graham Leggatt, Chief Fire Officer Dawn Whitaker, Watch manager George Wippich, Firefighter Mark Mitchell
Firefighter Rob Percival, Firefighter Martin Alford, Firefighter Graham Leggatt, Chief Fire Officer Dawn Whitaker, Watch manager George Wippich, Firefighter Mark Mitchell

Firefighters have received commendations after saving an unconscious man from a burning car.

Crew members Mark Mitchell, Graham Leggat, Robert Percival and Martin Alford from Green Watch Bexhill, were called to the incident in Battle in October.

Following their heroic actions, the team were recognised at the annual East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Awards last month.

Firefighter Mitchell, who has served at Bexhill Fire Station for 20 years, said: “This year we were recommended for the Chief Fire Officer Commendation for a job we attended in Battle where a car had hit a tree, gone into a ditch, burst into flames and the driver was trapped inside.”

The crew were quickly on the scene at Harrier Lane and fought the flames before cutting the unconscious man from his vehicle.

They gave the seriously ill man first aid before he was airlifted to hospital.

Two police officers, Roger Tomlinson and Paul Eastes, also received commendations for their part in the rescue.

The awards ceremony took place at the East Sussex National in Uckfield in front of the firefighters’ proud families.

Speaking about the incident, firefighter Mitchell said: “It was a good team effort and we had a good mixture of experience that day.” He added: “It’s always nice to be recognised for our actions.”

Chief fire officer Dawn Whittaker said: “It is always hugely rewarding to be able to recognise the actions of our staff and others within the community.

“This year demonstrates just how closely the emergency services work together.”

She also thanked the immediate families of those receiving awards and commendations for the support they give.

She added: “We are able to do what we do for the community as emergency service workers, because you are there to support us.”

Other award recipients included Battle firefighter and SECAmb technician Josh Yates and SECAmb technician Camilla Deeprose.

The pair were off duty when they came across a crash in March. They supported the emergency services and provided first aid. They received the Chief Fire Officer Certificate of Congratulations.