A MASHAM firefighter who waded into waist-high floodwater to rescue a child and her dog was among the winners of a Public Choice Awards.

The annual awards have been a staple in the North Yorkshire Police calendar for several years, and this year were extended to include the Fire and Rescue Service and staff working within the force's shared services.

A panel chaired by Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan shortlisted three entries from each service.

Each had demonstrated significant commitment and determination in their roles this past year and gone above and beyond their duty.

The Fire and Rescue Service Public Choice Award winner was Masham crew manager Chris Johnstone.

During heavy floods in Masham in February 2020, Mr Johnstone saw a resident, her daughter and her dog, making their way home when a tide of water came towards them.

It threatened to sweep them away, but anticipating the event, Mr Johnstone waded into the water up to waist height, picked up the child and the dog, and carried them to safety.

He received a heartfelt letter of appreciation from the child’s mother stating that her daughter now wants to be a firefighter when she grows up.

The police officer's award went to PC Mandir Xherija and PC Steve Merritt based in Scarborough.

They valiantly tried to save the life of a man found on cliff rocks, using an old fishing rope embedded into the cliff side to climb around 100ft down to help the man.

The officers performed CPR on the man for some 90 minutes whilst they waited for an air ambulance to arrive.

Despite the best efforts of the officers in challenging circumstances, the man sadly later died.

The third award winner was the shared Occupational Health and Welfare Team who went above and beyond to offer a vital service and much-needed personal support to their colleagues throughout the Covid pandemic.

Ms Mulligan said: “This past year has been difficult for everyone, but I have heard from communities across North Yorkshire and York how much they value the work of our brave police officers, firefighters and police and fire staff."