Dinnington hero collects his award

A DINNINGTON man who rescued an elderly couple from a fire at their home has been rewarded for his bravery.

Tony Whitehouse was joint winner of the Public Act of Bravery Award at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s annual awards ceremony.

The 33-year-old rescued an elderly couple from a kitchen blaze at their Thurcroft flat in April this year.

Tony forced entry to the property after spotting smoke and flames. He led one of the occupants outside to safety before returning to the house to rescue her husband, who was on the kitchen floor close to the fire.

Tony put out the fire using a garden hose, as his brother Stefan gave first aid to the casualty.

Tony said: “You just act on adrenaline. I would do the same thing again if faced with that situation.”

Tony shared his award with Bentley man Kenneth Jollens, who pulled a man to safety from a fire at his home on Rosedale Road, Bentley in August.

The men also received Chief Fire Officer’s Commendations - the highest level of recognition given by the fire service.

Handing over the award, Chief Fire Officer Jamie Courtney said: “Such potentially dangerous rescues are usually dealt with by professional fire crews, but had it not been for Tony and Kenneth’s swift and decisive actions in the very early stages of these fires, the incidents could have been a great deal more serious.”

Other winners on the night included The Lifewise Centre in Hellaby. The life-size set of a small town, operated jointly by SYFR and South Yorkshire Police, picked up The Pride Award for its work running educational programmes for young people based around fire and road safety.

Eight members of staff were also awarded Long Service and Good Conduct Medals by Lord Lieutenant David Moody for completing 20 years of exemplary service.

Mr Courtney added: “I would like to congratulate all our award winners and nominees. This event was a wonderful way to recognise the tireless efforts of so many individuals and organisations who work so hard to make South Yorkshire a safe place.”