Top award for firefighter attacked with baseball bat

Noel McKee (left), who was awarded the Chief Fire & Rescue Officer Award at the NIFRS Employee Awards 2015 with  Dale Ashford, interim Chief Fire & Rescue Officer. INCT 46-792-CON
Noel McKee (left), who was awarded the Chief Fire & Rescue Officer Award at the NIFRS Employee Awards 2015 with Dale Ashford, interim Chief Fire & Rescue Officer. INCT 46-792-CON

A Whitehead firefighter beaten with a baseball bat while responding to a routine call out has received the Chief Fire & Rescue Officer Award.

Noel McKee, 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, Noel was chosen for the award for his career and for the tremendous amount of charity and fundraising work he does. Over the years he has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for a variety of local causes.

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.”