A former firefighter has received recognition for his role as a Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) volunteer.
Nick Packham was awarded ‘KFRS Volunteer of the Year 2015’ after being nominated by staff and fellow volunteers for his enthusiasm, commitment and dedication to the service.
43-year-old Nick from Pluckley, Ashford, served as leading firefighter at Marden fire station for 12 years before sustaining life-changing injuries in a road traffic collision. Wishing to continue making a contribution to the Service and his community, Nick joined KFRS’s volunteer scheme in 2013 and carries out a wide range of volunteer duties on behalf of the Service.
KFRS volunteer coordinator Karen Grieves said: "Nick is an inspiration to us all and we are very fortunate to have him as part of the team. His award is very well deserved. Nick is hugely respected by both staff and volunteers alike, and carries out his volunteer duties with great passion and understanding."
Nick gives talks to community groups for older people, such as Age UK Day Centres and Active Retirement Associations in the Mid Kent area. He has also delivered Dementia Friends sessions to crews across the county. He has also worked effectively with Brownies groups, using his exceptional engagement skills to encourage each child to take a full and active part in the sessions to enable them to achieve their Fire Safety badges.
In addition, Nick plays a pivotal role as lead for the Volunteer Response Team, which can be deployed to offer community support and other non-operational duties at incidents, such as flooding.
Nick is now working jointly with Chris Wheal, another dedicated KFRS volunteer, on a road safety project for seniors drivers. He will also be involved with the KFRS's new road safety education centre, the Road Safety Experience, later this year.