Whitehead firefighter Noel McKee has dedicated his Chief Fire and Rescue Officer Award to colleagues and the wider community.
Noel, who was part of a crew subjected to a vicious attack by two men in Belfast in September, was honoured at the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Employee Awards 2015.
A firefighter for over 28 years, he was recognised by NIFRS for his career and for the tremendous amount of charity work he does. Over the years he has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for a variety of local causes.
Noel said: “I accept the award on behalf of all the personnel who respond to my fundraising requests with enthusiasm and willingness.
“None of what I have done would have been possible if people didn’t get behind the various causes. People who turn up at six o’clock in the morning to sit on a spin bike for two hours, people who give up full days to collect money, to pull fire engines, to wash cars.
“It’s a privilege to do what I do. To make changes, however small, to people’s lives gives me a sense of purpose, meaning and direction in my life.
“I hope to continue doing what I do for as long as I physically can.”
Noel is based at Whitla Fire Station in North Belfast and lives in Whitehead with his family.
Dale Ashford, interim Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, said: “I am extremely proud of the achievements of all our staff who received an Employee Award. This was our opportunity to celebrate the success of our people and to say thank you to them for their hard work, professionalism and commitment.
“They are a credit to NIFRS and are representative of the many individuals and teams, from across the organisation, who work hard on a daily basis to provide the best possible fire and rescue service to the people of Northern Ireland.”