Fire heroes honoured for bravery

From left: Phil Castleton, Amy Colbourne, Chief Fire Officer Gavin Watts, Anoma Balage and Rich Coomber were among those honoured at the awards. Picture: WSFRS
From left: Phil Castleton, Amy Colbourne, Chief Fire Officer Gavin Watts, Anoma Balage and Rich Coomber were among those honoured at the awards. Picture: WSFRS

A DJ firefighter who pulled a sleeping man from a burning building on his day off has received an award.

Phil Castleton, 39, was honoured at the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service awards with a commendation for Dedication Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.

Phil, who lives in Sompting Avenue in Worthing, was walking past a flat and heard the smoke alarm going off.

He said: “The man was asleep in front of the fire place. The fire was spreading out towards the carpet, filling the room with smoke.

“I pretty much acted immediately to get the guy out to safety.”

A fire service spokesman said Phil ‘showed real bravery in his actions’ in getting the man to safety while waiting for fire crews to arrive.

Phil is on call as a retained firefighter and also works as a DJ in clubs in the local area.

In another incident, Phil saw a distressed member of the public on the wrong side of railings on a railway bridge.

In another incident, Phil stepped in when he saw a distressed member of the public on the wrong side of railings over a railway bridge.

He tried to calm the woman by talking to her for several minutes before grabbing the opportunity to pull her over to safety.

Phil was invited to an awards ceremony on Friday at Arundel Castle along with others from across the county.

He said: “It is something I do every day off duty and on duty

“To be given an official pat on the back is really splendid. It was amazing.”

Also honoured were Amy Colbourne and Anoma Balage for their bravery at the Worthing care home where they work.

When the fire alarm sounded they rescued a woman from her room.

Anoma also stayed with another resident who had specific medical equipment needs during the firefighting.

A fire service spokesman said: “Amy and Anoma’s actions helped save lives.”

Gavin Watts, Chief Fire Officer, said: “This event celebrates the very best of this county and recognises diligence, commitment and bravery.

“It is an honour to be able to thank everyone on behalf of West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.”