Coveted national award for inspirational station manager
A former fire-fighter from Bradford was awarded a prestigious Spirit of Fire award last week for his courageous actions following a serious cycling accident.
Former Assistant District commander for Bradford, Pete Lau, picked up the Beneficiary of Courage Award at the glitzy London ceremony on Friday 2nd October.
After 24-years of service with the brigade, the now retired station manager suffered a serious injury after a cycling accident in the North Yorkshire Dales last year left him in a wheelchair.
Despite the many challenges Pete has had to overcome since the accident, he has faced his rehabilitation with a determination and discipline that has left others in awe of his resourcefulness and spirit.
He even used his skills as an experienced and qualified scuba diving instructor to inspire others with spinal injuries to get into the water.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton said: “Pete’s story is truly inspirational and we are absolutely over the moon to see his courage over the last 18 months recognised on a national scale.
“Pete’s life changed forever on the day of his accident and it’s very difficult to imagine how you would cope in the same situation.
“Despite the inevitable frustrations associated with his rehabilitation, he has always rallied with courage, resourcefulness and an enviable spirit.
“To see him so vibrantly enjoying life, with his family by his side, gives us all the greatest of pleasure.”
Pete paid thanks to his former colleagues, friends and family upon receiving the award, adding that it was a ‘very proud moment’.
He continued: “My wife Deb, my family and I had a wonderful weekend in London whilst attending the Spirit of Fire Awards in Westminster.
“Of course I was thrilled to be nominated for the ‘Beneficiary of Courage’ Award. The nominees in the category were all so equally deserving. I’m sure the judges had a very hard job to single out an eventual winner.
“To accept such recognition without mentioning the amazing support Deb and I have and continue to receive from our family, our friends, our colleagues, everyone in West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, the amazing staff at Pinderfields Spinal Unit and of course The Fire Fighters Charity would be remiss of me.
“This is a very proud moment in my journey and road to dealing with my injury.”