Brave@Heart Awards

First Minister presents bravery awards.

Thirty-five people from blue-light services, voluntary sector rescue organisations and the public have been presented with Brave@Heart Awards recognising acts of bravery.

The awards were presented by the First Minister at a special event held at Edinburgh Castle.

Of the 82 nominations, the independent validation panel selected 17 professionals and 18 members of the public to receive the awards.

Two of the winners – Niall Blackburn and Geoff Maxwell – also received the St Andrew’s Award for exceptional acts of bravery.

Niall Blackburn was working in the bar at a local hotel when a man left the hotel and threw himself into the water at Wemyss Bay Ferry Terminal. Mr Blackburn swam out to the man and pulled him back to shore. The man was treated for hypothermia at hospital and made a full recovery.

Retained firefighter Geoff Maxwell was working next to a river and saw a young girl and her father struggling in the fast moving water. Mr Maxwell entered the water and managed to pull the girl to the surface and bring her back to shore. He then continued to assist with the rescue operation by directing emergency services to the location but tragically, the father’s body was recovered from the river the following day.

First Minister said: “It is an honour to be able to present these awards to people who have shown extraordinary bravery.

“This ceremony is an opportunity for us to say thank you to those who put their lives at risk every day in their professional roles and to members of the public who have stepped in to help a fellow citizen in danger.

“Everyone who has been nominated for an award is a credit to Scotland and an inspiration to us all.”

Brave@Heart 2016 panel chair, Lindsay Burley said:

“I’m proud to have chaired the judging panel for these awards for three years now. I continue to be amazed by the heroism demonstrated by all those nominated for an award. The actions of members of the public and our colleagues in the emergency services to save the lives of others is an inspiration to us all and I would like to offer my congratulations to all the winners.”

Notes to editors

The validation panel that considered nominations consisted of a representative from Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service. The panel was chaired by Dr Lindsay Burley, Chair of NHS Education for Scotland.

Full list of winners available on request.


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