Firefighters rewarded for their bravery

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TWO Hampshire firefighters who died during a blaze at a block of flats have been awarded a fire service medal for gallantry.

James Shears and Alan Bannon lost their lives while battling a blaze inside Shirley Towers, Southampton, in April 2010.

The families of the firefighters were presented with the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Meritorious Medal for Gallantry at a private ceremony at St Mary’s fire station in Southampton, where the men were part of red watch.

James and Alan’s firefighting helmets and station number lapels were also presented to their families.

Chief officer John Bonney said: ‘The service’s meritorious medal is awarded to firefighters who carry out acts of considerable bravery.

‘There is no question that this is what was shown by Jim and Alan as they put themselves in harm’s way to ensure the safety of others on that night.

‘This award is to formally recognise their courage, dedication and service, and the sacrifice they made.’