Firefighter from Goathland, near Whitby, elated with Queen's birthday honour

A firefighter from Goathland is celebrating after being awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 2:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th June 2021, 2:56 pm

Rose Fearnley, 47, received the Award in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours list in recognition of her services to North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and our most remote communities.

Rose has been a firefighter with North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service for more than 16 years.

She initially joined the service when she discovered a lack of firefighters meant her local volunteer fire station was at risk of closing.

Rose Fearnley.
Rose Fearnley.

Rose decided she couldn’t complain if she didn’t do anything about it, so she became a volunteer firefighter and took over running the station a few years later.

Her tenacity, inspiration and commitment has meant that Goathland has retained its volunteer fire station.

Twelve years ago, Rose became a full-time member of the fire service.

Her role now is Temporary Station Manager Protection, which concentrates on prevention of incidents such as Grenfell Tower disaster.

Goathland's volunteer fire crew at the village station.

Rose said: “I am very honoured to be put forward for and receive this award.

"I’m really surprised and humbled.

“In the fire service, it’s never just about one individual person, it’s about teamwork, the people you have around you.

"When you know that everything you achieve is because you are part of a great team it feels slightly uncomfortable to be singled out.

“I accept this award as a recognition of the amazing commitment of all the Goathland volunteer firefighters.

"I am immensely proud of them.

“I am also very proud to be part of the North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service.

"I have had an amazing career to date and been presented with so many opportunities for progression and development.

“But above all, I love doing a job that makes a difference every day to the safety of the residents and visitors across North Yorkshire and the City of York."

Chief Fire Officer Andrew Brodie said: “Rose is not only an inspirational Watch Manager, she is also an exceptional community leader.

“She has reinvigorated the Volunteer Station at Goathland through her dedication, enthusiasm and skill, and encouraged others in the village to join.

"We really appreciate all that Rose has achieved and having her as a colleague here in North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service.”

Goathland is a small station with a crew of just nine volunteers.

All volunteer stations – Lythe, Danby, Robin Hood’s Bay and Goathland – struggle for staff because of changes in the way people live and work.

Crew members all have full-time jobs, but have to be based within five minutes of the fire station.

There are around 20-30 call outs per year, but these cover a wide variety of incidents, from moorland fires and road traffic collisions to water rescues and people getting stuck in fords.

Rose said that if she could choose just one good thing to come out of her award, it would be that more people would sign up to the volunteer service.

Many people are now working from home, while younger members of the community are growing up and leaving the village, leading to an increasing struggle to crew all appliances.

She said: “People think that they can’t join, that they’re not that kind of person, they have pre-conceived ideas about what the role entails.

“When you work in the community you live in, you have to be professional, you are sometimes going to incidents that involve people you know well.

"The job does require a certain level of fitness, but there is information on the website to help you prepare and also how to apply.

“We train once a week for two hours and go to the training centre for other training.”

“I’m lucky enough to be doing a job that I love, they’re an absolutely fantastic bunch at Goathland.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the role of on-call firefighters, Northallerton Fire Station is holding a Have a Go Day on July 3, or click here to find out more.