Strathclyde Fire and Rescue applaud life saving teen
Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 00:58 GMT on Monday 4th February, 2013.
Picture is copyright of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue.

STRATHCLYDE Fire and Rescue has praised a teenager who led his sister to safety when a blaze took hold at their home, with one of the UK’s most senior firemasters issuing a commendation for his potentially life-saving actions.

When a kitchen appliance caught fire on November 5, 2011, Timothy Jackson was only 11 years old. His sister Olivia – then aged eight – spotted the flames and called for her brother, who immediately took her from the house before making a 999 call.

Crucially, Timothy closed every door behind them as they left the burning building – putting into practice the very instructions firefighters had given his Scout troupe just two weeks earlier. It not only allowed the family vital time to escape the fire, but also protected much of their home from the thick smoke and intense flames.

Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Chief Officer Brian Sweeney issued his personal Certificate of Congratulations for the actions, which show how every member of the public can be an active citizen and help protect their community. Timothy – now 13 – collected his award yesterday (Wednesday, January 30) from the very same Govan Community Fire Station crew that responded to his 999 call.

Station Commander John McKenna told an invited audience: “People often panic when a fire occurs. Timothy didn’t. He got himself and his family to safety and protected their home by following the fire action plan his Scout group had learned.

“Many people would have dismissed that knowledge but Timothy retained it. When it was needed he put it to good use and reduced the risk of fire spreading throughout the house.

“The Fire Service calls on members of the public to be active citizens and take on responsibility for their own safety and that of others. That is clearly what Timothy did.

“He is a terrific example of what we want to achieve in our communities and it is a great pleasure to present him with the Chief Officer’s Certificate of Congratulations.”

Firefighters welcomed the Jackson family, Bailie Fariha Thomas – a Glasgow City councillor for Govan – and Scout leaders to see Timothy presented with his award. Afterwards, the youngster recalled the incident.

Timothy said: “My first thought was just that we needed to get out the house and call the fire brigade. I knew not to panic and to shut the doors behind us because that’s what the firefighters told my Scout group. I’m not sure I’d have done that if it wasn’t for the fire action plan we learned.”

His dad, Gordon, added: “Timothy’s mum, sister and I are very proud of him and we would like to thank both the Fire Service and the Scouts for the recognition they have given his actions. We are very grateful to the firefighters who responded that night and saved our home.”

Strathclyde Fire & Rescue is appealing for active citizens to protect their communities from fire. If you or someone you know – like a neighbour, relative or friend – may be at an increased risk of fire, then the Service wants you to contact it and arrange a free Home Fire Safety Visit.

To arrange a free Home Fire Safety Visit for you or someone you know, call Strathclyde Fire & Rescue on 0800 0731 999 or text "check" to 61611. You can also get in touch by calling your local community fire station.

The Scouts recently conferred their own meritorious conduct award to Timothy. Group and regional leaders explained their goal in working with the Fire Service.

Stuart Yuill commented: “The Scouts aim to encourage youngsters to become responsible citizens who make positive contributions to their communities. We’re delighted that Timothy’s group was able to visit the fire station and receive a fire action plan, which he then put into practice when it mattered most.”
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