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Heroes honoured for bravery

Published: 7 Oct 2015 12:05

First Minister hands out Brave@Heart awards.

Forty-five extraordinary people have been commended for their bravery at a special celebration at Edinburgh Castle hosted by the First Minister last night (October 6).

The Brave@Heart awards recognise and celebrate acts of bravery by staff of emergency services, voluntary sector rescue organisations and members of the public. The 2015 awards acknowledge selfless action and heroism in house fires and knife attacks. They also recognise help given to distressed individuals and to those injured during the George Square bin lorry tragedy.

In total, 60 nominations were received from emergency services. The independent validation panel chose 45 of those to receive Brave@Heart awards. Thirty-six of the awards were given to professionals, with nine going to members of the public.

At the reception last night, the First Minister said:

"The individual acts we are celebrating are exceptional and they are worthy of special recognition. In Scotland there is a real sense of community and we must never forget how privileged we are to have such dedicated emergency professionals and members of the public, willing to assist even when their own lives are in danger.

"Hearing first-hand accounts of the bravery demonstrated during these events really drives home the incredible strength of character and the selfless acts undertaken.

"It's vital for us to cherish and encourage that concern for others and we should be so proud of those brave men, women and young people.

"The awards are an opportunity for Scotland to say thank you to the Brave@Heart recipients, and indeed all those who were nominated. Their selflessness, compassion and courage is inspiring, and are an example to us all."

Brave@Heart 2015 panel chair, Lindsay Burley said:

"It has been a great privilege to chair the judging panel for two consecutive years. The heroism that members of the public and our colleagues in the emergency services have demonstrated in order to save those in need is commendable. It has been a humbling and uplifting experience."

Notes to editors

The first Brave@Heart annual reception was held in June 2010. Emergency services – police, fire and ambulance - and other emergency responders in the public and voluntary sectors have been invited to nominate members of their profession/organisations and members of the public.

The validation panel that considered nominations consisted of a representative from Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service. The panel was chaired by Dr Lindsay Burley CBE, Chair, NHS Education for Scotland.

Images available on request.