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Update: Injured Derbyshire Firefighter

Last week the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) launched an appeal on behalf of Derbyshire firefighter, On-Call Watch Manager Alyson Hill who was injured on the 21 March 2023 returning from an emergency incident. 

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service is continuing to provide full support to Alyson and the crew from Bakewell.  

With Alyson’s name now in the public domain, many people have been enquiring about her progress since the incident. Watch Manager Alyson Hill has asked the Service to share the following update and message of thanks on her behalf:  

‘On Tuesday 21 March 2023, I was travelling with the crew from Bakewell Fire Station in a fire engine travelling along Hassop Road, Hassop. Just before 16.43 hours that fire engine left the road causing me to sustain life changing injuries with the loss of my left arm. Having left hospital last week, I now feel ready to give my own personal update and want to say thank you to so many people.  

‘Firstly, I want to thank the fire crews from Hathersage, Staveley and Buxton, and all the other DFRS officers and medical professionals who attended the incident. Without their correct assessment of the incident, taking into account the extent of my injuries, level of entrapment and so much more, I could quite easily have died, or at least lost my left leg. Everyone worked to such a high standard, displaying an exceptional level of expertise within such a demanding and unique situation; it is testament to the extremely high standards that Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service works to. I owe them all my life, alongside the medical teams at Northern General Hospital.  

‘I would also like to thank everyone across the fire and rescue sector, up and down the country. I have been overwhelmed with kind wishes, encouragement, and ongoing support, specifically from my own fire and rescue service in Derbyshire who have continued to support me through every stage of the incident and my ongoing recovery. 

‘To my crew from Bakewell Station, I can’t thank them enough. They are my second family and the support they are giving me through my recovery has been tremendous. They are all a credit to the fire service and to the community they serve. To my colleagues within Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service and my colleagues and clients from the veterinary clinic where I work outside of my fire service role, I want to say thank you for your kind words, cards, presents, visits, and practical suggestions on all manner of tasks! 

‘I must also thank the many, many people of Bakewell and beyond who have sent their best wishes either by card or social media, not forgetting the mystery person who has kindly mowed my lawn! 

‘My friends and neighbours have been amazing. Their positivity, and forever cheery smiles have been a constant support. My kettle never has a chance to go cold! 

‘And finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family who have been and continue to be phenomenal. In some ways their journey has been so much worse than mine. I will forever be so very grateful. 

‘So, for the facts. I have now been discharged from hospital and I am happily living back at home with the support of my family. Yes, I have lost my left arm, but in time it is hoped I will have a fully functional prosthetic to replace it. Until then I will just get on with whatever I am faced with. In the accident I also broke my left leg quite badly, so for the next three months I will have an external fixator in place to allow my leg to mend. 

‘My injuries have been life changing, but they haven’t changed me. So, if you see me please stop and say hello. Do not be embarrassed by my injures and remember it could have been so much worse.’ 

Alyson Hill                                                                                                                                                                                                                         On-Call Watch Manager 

Derbyshire’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Rob Taylor said: ‘Alyson is a truly remarkable woman and a fantastic asset to the team DFRS. Her bravery, ambition and positivity demonstrate what a brilliant role model she is.’ 

Notes to reporters/editors 

Alyson Hill is not available for interview. DFRS would ask that Alyson’s privacy is respected and she is not contacted directly by the media.  

Bakewell On-Call