A 17-year-old fire cadet with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has become a ‘local hero’ when he recently came to the aid of an injured pedestrian in the Throckley area of Tyne and Wear.
Lennon Bates of Throckley has been a fire cadet for over four years and all of his specialist skills and training were put to good use during this emergency situation.
This act of incredible selflessness has seen Lennon being honoured with the receipt of a special Area Manager’s Commendation in front of his fellow fire cadets, friends and family.
The incident took place on the streets of Throckley a couple of weeks ago between Mount Pleasant and Tilmouth Park Road. The pedestrian appeared disorientated and confused after an apparent accidental fall on to the pavement.
Lennon tells of what happened on the night in question. He said: ‘I was walking home after volunteering at my local youth club when two young lads came up to me and said that someone was in distress. My first instinct was naturally to see if I could help out in any way possible.’
Lennon attends fire cadets at West Denton Community Fire Station and is also enjoying the second year of a three-year apprenticeship at Newcastle City Council with their Highways team.
During the incident the young fire cadet remembered to stay calm under pressure and to reassure the patient at all times. He introduced himself to the elderly gentleman and used the chit-chat to assess if the man was seriously injured.
Lennon said: ‘I asked the man some general questions like what day of the week it was and if he remembered where he lived. It became apparent after that conversation that he’d require some sort of medical assistance.’
The young cadet was joined by a passing paramedic who was walking his dog accompanied by his wife. They ensured that the man was in a comfortable condition and waited for the attendance of the North East Ambulance Service.
Lennon added: ‘I was relieved when the ambulance came along as it meant that the man would be in safe hands and getting professional help. It felt good to know I was able to help someone who couldn’t help themselves.’
Lennon goes on to explain that his time as a fire cadet has been priceless in the way it has provided him with self-confidence and made him more outgoing as a person.
He added: ‘Being a fire cadet has been excellent. I’ve made some amazing lifelong friendships. The skills that I’ve gained can be used in so many different situations and aren’t exclusive to the fire service.
‘I’ll be honest and say that after leaving school I had to put in some graft as having dyslexia meant my school years weren’t as productive as I’d required for exploring higher education or gaining a job.
‘But my time with the fire cadets and my apprenticeship has provided me with essential life and working skills that I require to better myself and pursue a future career.
‘I’d love one day to become a firefighter and serve my local community so my advice to any young person considering becoming a fire cadet would be – go for it as it will be one of the best choices that you’ll ever make.’
Richie Rickaby, Area Manager Community Safety at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘We are super proud of our fire cadets. Especially in the way that they go about continuing to represent the Fire Service even in their own time outside of the fire stations.
‘Lennon is an asset to the Fire Service and an asset to the local community as his unselfish actions embody everything that being a young fire cadet is all about. Well done, Lennon!’
Lennon was also a key player in a recent fire cadet fundraiser, which raised a grand total of £1,090.96 for three worthy charities including Tyneside Mind, The Fire Fighters Charity and Washington Mind.
The monies were raised through a charity football game between the TWFRS fire cadets and Northumbria Police’s cadets at Druid Park in Woolsington; a bucket collection at South Shields Community Fire Station Open Day; and a raffle.
Newcastle City Council’s Highways Scheme Manager, Kevin Anderson, who manages Lennon, said: ‘This doesn’t really surprise me about Lennon. He is a very caring and compassionate young man who always gives his best in any situation.
‘He’s a team player who can also work on his own initiative so I can well imagine him helping this gentleman out in his hour of need. He represents all that is great about the apprentices we have here at the city council.’
For more information about Tyne and Wear fire cadets, go to www.twfire.gov.uk/about-us/community-engagement/fire-cadets