Flintshire firemen honoured for their courage and bravery

Reporter:

Kate Forrester

A FIREFIGHTER who rescued a 75-year-old man from a burning house, breaking his own leg in the process, has been honoured for his bravery.

Retained firefighter Tommy Probert refused to let his injury stop him fighting to pull Ronald Jones from the blaze at his home on Albert Avenue, Flint, on December 12 last year.

The house was gutted in the fire and despite being pulled to safety, Mr Jones, who was suffering from cancer and emphysema, died in hospital a few days later.

Tommy, who lives in Flint and has been a retained firefighter for 20 years, said: “I broke my leg while I was trying to lift Mr Jones up and drag him out of the house.

“I slipped on an oil cloth and he landed on my leg.

“We managed to get him to safety in the end and my family say they are proud of me, but it was a team effort and I would like to thank my partner in the operation, Keith.”

Tommy was praised by Jonathan Jones, Mr Jones’ grandson and carer, who was left homeless after the blaze.

His baby son Leon, now aged five months, was born on the same day.

He said: “I’m so thankful to Tommy for what he did and would love to meet up with him – there are a few things I’d like to say to him.

“My grandad used to say that he was holding out for the birth of his great-grandson and he got to see a picture of him in hospital before he died.

“I know he registered it because a tear rolled down his cheek.

“If it weren’t for Tommy, he may never have got out of the house and I wouldn’t have had a chance to say goodbye to him.”

Dad-of-two Tommy was presented with a plaque by Flint Town Council this week in honour of his service to the community, alongside partner Keith Lloyd, who is also engaged to Tommy’s daughter Ceri.

Flint Coleshill councillor Alex Aldridge, former leader of Flintshire Council, said:
“Tommy and his colleagues are the genuine unsung heroes of our communities.

“They represent everything that is good about civic duty. They give up so much of their time and give the same level of commitment as full-time firefighters, despite holding down jobs and looking after their families.

“I am very proud to be a member of Flint Town Council on this auspicious day which recognises the bravery and commitment of our retained firefighters.”

The entire Flint fire station crew was also presented with a plaque by town mayor Paul Cunningham, who started his own career as a firefighter in Flint.

See full story in the Leader

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