An Aylsham firefighter who is also saving lives when off-duty through a defibrillator campaign has won a top award for his efforts.
Chris Baker’s life is dedicated to rescue work. He is a full-time firefighter based at Great Yarmouth and a part-time “on call” crewman at the Aylsham station.
On his days off he is a fire survival trainer at Petans offshore safety training centre at Norwich airport. And for the past year he has been filling the public defibrillator coverage gaps in Aylsham, the surrounding villages, and across all of Norfolk’s fire stations.
His work providing the heart restart machines has been recognised by Norfolk Fire Service in their annual awards where he was a winner in the Making a Difference category.
He received it from Assistant Chief Fire Officer Scott Norman at Barnham Broom Golf Club and was praised in his citation for making a ”huge contribution” and “showing great community spirit.”
Chief Fire Officer Ceri Sumner said: “These awards showed what a great group of talented people we have in our service and how proud we are of what we do to serve our communities.”
Chris, 39, said: “I was surprised and delighted to win but I haven’t done this to win an award – it is just something I am passionate about.
“The defibs are saving lives. Two days after we installed one at Great Yarmouth it was called into use. And hopefully this award will highlight the need for them – and sponsors to support them.”
When Chris began his campaign, Aylsham had just three defibs. It now has 14 to complete the town coverage map and another 11 have been put in surrounding villages.
Now Chris is focused on the fire stations. He has already doubled the number of defib boxes – which cost £1,500 each – from four to eight but has another 30 to go. Some have been bought through business or personal sponsorship.
“I would like to complete the fire stations as soon as possible – as and when money comes in,” added Chris. “I am writing to charities, councils and the fire service, but if people want to help they can call or email me.”
Contact Chris at email@example.com or 07795 663592.