Midland Heart colleague commended by West Midlands Fire Service

Colleagues at West Midlands Fire Service have acknowledged the professionalism, warmth and care showed by one of our Retirement Living Officers, as she helped escort customers to safety following a fire.

17th Apr 2023 - Corporate news

While we do everything we can to avoid fires breaking out in our homes, sometimes unexpected incidents can occur as a result of devices left switched on, electrical faults or unattended flames.

Last week, a fire broke out at Jack David House, Great Bridge, one of our retirement living schemes, providing homes to 43 residents, largely over the age of 55.

When the fire broke out, Retirement Living Officer, Linda Durden was quick to respond, raising the alarm both through the automated (break glass) system and also by dialling 999.

Upon arrival, West Midlands Fire Service were greeted to multiple persons self-evacuating from the premises, with Linda at the helm, calmly escorting customers to safety. Linda was able to give a calm, but thorough account of what had happened, and her excellent building knowledge was of great assistance to the Fire Service, who believe her actions undoubtedly stopped anyone within the building from being seriously hurt.

Colleagues at West Midlands Fire Service acknowledged the professionalism showed by Linda, praising the way she assisted the evacuation of residents with warmth and care.

Dan Bebbington, Watch Commander at Tipton Blue Watch, commented:

“As a service it is our position to highlight any poor practices to our relevant fire safety teams when attending incidents; offering advice and support for areas of improvement. Rarely do we get the opportunity to commend such positive actions of building staff when faced with such a pressurised situation.

“I felt it important to highlight Linda's professionalism and thank her for the support she offered the Fire Service, she really did make our task a whole lot easier. Thank you Linda!”

Sharon Alexis Wilson, Director of Retirement Living, commented:

“As a landlord, keeping our customers safe is our main focus, and we do all we can to prevent incidents like fire from taking place in our homes. I am extremely proud of the way Linda responded to this incident, not only demonstrating a thorough understanding of our fire safety procedure, but showing compassion, warmth and care to vulnerable customers in need of help.

“We are thrilled to have received such positive feedback from West Midlands Fire Service, and on behalf of all at Jack David House, we thank Linda for working so hard to keep everyone safe.”

Colleagues from West Midlands Fire Service and Tipton Blue Watch will revisit Jack David House over the coming weeks, to offer further advice and reassurance to residents.