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BOLTON CENTRAL White Watch Crew Manager Phil Dearden was presented with a Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) WOW! Award on Tuesday, January 13.
Phil was nominated by Sufiyan Kala, a local freelance journalist, with support from Bolton Council of Mosques for his commitment to supporting a safer driving initiative for college students.
In June last year around 100 students from Bolton College took part in workshops with firefighters, police officers and community safety staff before joining guests and dignitaries to watch crews cut ‘casualties’ out of an overturned car.
The event at Bolton Central Fire Station was the culmination of months of community work, events and campaigning to help reduce antisocial driving in the town following a number of serious accidents.
Since then, the agencies have carried out a series of events at mosques across Bolton to spread the message of safe driving and highlight the devastating consequences of racing and antisocial driving.
GMFRS, Bolton Council of Mosques (BCoM), Greater Manchester Police and Bolton Council teamed up for the campaign thanks to funding from the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner.
Phil was a driving force behind the initiative and played a vital part in the organisation of the scheme.
Nominating Phil for the award Sufiyan said: “From the initial planning of the road traffic collision (RTC) demonstrations for the Drive Safe Campaign, to delivering the commentary at the venues, Phil has been absolutely instrumental in all aspects. His willingness to help with any cause that helps prevent catastrophes as well as his drive to ensure that the message has been received is a quality that sets him apart from the rest.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to have worked with such a consummate professional as well as kind and caring individual. Phil Dearden is a genuinely nice guy who is a credit to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.”
On presenting the award, Ibrahim Kala, Manager of BCoM, said: “We fully support Sufiyan’s nomination and I am honoured to make this presentation to Phil today to recognise his outstanding contribution to the safer driving campaign.”
For more information about WOW! and to make a nomination, visit our dedicated WOW! page on our website: http://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/contact_us/wow_awards.aspx
PHOTO L-R: FAROOK CHAPTI, VICE SECRETARY OF BCoM, IBRAHIM KALA, MANAGER OF BCoM, CREW MANAGER PHIL DEARDEN, SAEED AKUJI, MOSQUE MADRASA LIAISON OFFICER, BOLTON CENTRAL STATION MANAGER STEVE PARKINSON AND PAT SHACKLOCK, GMFRS COMMUNITY SAFETY TEAM LEADER BOLTON AND WIGAN