Nuneaton-based Gareth Procter was rewarded for his response to a motorway accident by Chief Fire Officer Ben Brook in a ceremony attended by the family involved

An off-duty firefighter who helped a family who had been in a motorway car accident has been presented with an award for his actions. At the request of the family involved, who expressed their gratitude for his support in their time of need, firefighter Gareth Procter from Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service (WFRS) was given the Chief Fire Officer’s Certificate of Commendation.

This was presented in a ceremony at Nuneaton Fire Station attended by WFRS Chief Fire Officer Ben Brook, WFRS colleagues and the Parmar family who made the recommendation.

Describing the incident, Amit Parmar said: “We were involved in quite a serious accident on the motorway at 6am. I had my family with me, including our two children. Gareth stopped to help us while off-duty. He took care of my children and gave them water. He waited for the police to arrive and helped sweep the motorway, clearing the rubble. He helped take out all our suitcases and comforted us.

“We would like to thank him from the bottom of our hearts. It’s heart-warming to find that there are still good people out there willing to help others. He’s an asset to our county.”

The Parmar family contacted WFRS after the incident wishing to express their thanks as they were unable to do so directly having not taken Gareth’s details while in shock after the incident. WFRS was able to identify which firefighter had offered support and Gareth reconnected with the family.

They were so grateful they proceeded to ask if Gareth could be nominated for an award. WFRS leadership was happy to facilitate this as they also felt Gareth’s actions on the day deserved to be accoladed.

Chief Fire Officer Ben Brook said, “Gareth’s response to this situation demonstrates the values at the heart of our Fire & Rescue Service. He put the needs of our community above his own by providing support while off duty, treating the family with empathy and respect. We’re delighted to have Gareth and others like him as part of our service, and it’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to recognise his efforts. Well done, Gareth.”

Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Communities and Fire & Rescue at Warwickshire County Council, said, “It always makes me hugely proud to see the work of our firefighters recognised. We know our team go above and beyond in their roles every day, while Gareth has gone one step further by helping this family while off duty. The helpful and respectful way he conducted himself is a credit to our service and the values instilled in all of our staff.”


Published: 2nd February 2023