Firefighter Ashley Brown from Bridgnorth has been nominated for a prestigious award at the Spirit of Fire awards to be held in London in May. The awards celebrate and recognise people who have helped support the fire service and also recognise acts of bravery by both members of the public and fire fighters. Ashley, who has been a firefighter for 14 years, took over as Shropshire’s co-coordinator for the Firefighters Charity last year, and his nomination is for ‘best newcomer’. The charity is a benevolent organisation which provides assistance, rehabilitation and recuperation to firefighters at times of need and Ashley has thrown himself wholeheartedly into the fundraising efforts. It’s true to say that the fire service runs though Ashley’s blood; his family has a long and proud association with the service: he is a third generation firefighter – his grandfather started at the Bridgnorth fire station in 1949.
But there is another personal touch to his involvement; Ashley and his wife Gemma had a pressing need to enlist the support of the charity when they suffered the tragic loss of their young son, Cameron, six years ago. “We spent a week at the charity’s recuperation centre – it was a lifeline at a very bleak time,” said Ashley, who believes this is the first time someone from Shropshire has been shortlisted at the awards. Ashley is no stranger to fundraising; since 2008 he and Gemma have raised over £50,000 for Asthma UK – Cameron’s Fund.There will be a charity car wash in aid of the Firefighters Charity on Saturday 29 March at the fire station.