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Salford firefighter’s delight at winning New Year’s Honour

A Salford firefighter has been given a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours for his tireless work to support the people of Irlam.

David Pike BEM, 37, has served the people of Irlam and Cadishead as a firefighter for 18 years and has been recognised for working in his own time to improve the lives of local people.

In 2012 David saw an issue with anti-social behaviour and a lack of positive role models and activities for young people in Irlam.

He took it upon himself to set up a five-a-side tournament using the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s (GMFRS) Caged Soccer Unit.

David brought together organisations working in Irlam and since its inception the league has cut anti-social-behaviour by 40 per cent.

When his local police station closed David spearheaded efforts to move the local officers into the fire station.

It was the first example of blue light cohabitation in GMFRS and it paved the way for Irlam becoming one of the first buildings in the country to host fire, police and paramedics.

David joined Salford NHS Foundation Trust and has been appointed lead governor. His link with the NHS has led to Irlam Fire Station hosting a whole range health services.

Weight management sessions, parent and child bonding sessions and mental health support services
including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are all held at Irlam Fire Station – the effect of the local community’s health and wellbeing has been immeasurable.

The Salford firefighter, a father of three, continues to work tirelessly for the people of Irlam and played a big part in creating a climbing wall on the station’s drill tower for local people to enjoy.

He said: “On receiving the news that I was to be named in the Queens New Year’s Honours List I was very shocked and humbled that someone took the time to nominate me.

“I really enjoy the work that I am involved with in ensuring the fire service plays a central role in helping our community be the best it can be and never expected anything like this to come along.

“I am proud to be part of a great team both locally at my station and within GMFRS as a whole.

“I look forward to receiving the award with my wife Tammy and our three children and also attending the Queen’s garden party later on in the year.”

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.