An Eastleigh Firefighter has been awarded a ‘top gong’ in the New Years Honours List.
Peter Crook has been awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal in the New Year’s Honours list, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to international search and rescue during his 32 year career with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.
The Queen’s Fire Service Medal is awarded by Her Majesty the Queen to those members of the Fire Service who have exhibited conspicuous devotion to duty.
Peter, currently a Group Manager at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters in Eastleigh, joined the Service in 1979 as a firefighter at Eastleigh Fire Station. Pete also served at Training Centre, Headquarters, Gosport, Copnor, Southsea, Redbridge, Basingstoke and St Marys Fire Stations.
Peter has over 32 years of operational service in Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and continues with these duties, most recently attending nine emergency calls over the 48 hours covering Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!
Pete is aged 55, has been married to Beverley for 28 years and has two children, Robert who is 20 and Elizabeth who is 13.
Peter’s International Work
Peter joined the UK Fire Service Search and Rescue Team in 1991 when it was formed and has stayed involved ever since.
He deployed to the Montserrat volcano in 1996 and 1997, training search and rescue teams.
Peter deployed again to the enormous 1999 Turkish earthquake and was directly involved in rescuing a lady trapped for 3 days under a collapsed apartment block.
Following the 9/11 attacks in 2001 Peter also contributed significantly to the development of a new Urban Search and Rescue capability for the UK.
He next deployed to the earthquake on Boxing Day 2003 to Iran as the UK Operations Commander.
Peter has organised a series of annual international exercises in Hampshire from 2004 onwards, including in 2006 and 2009 events where the UN accredited the UK team as a qualified ‘Heavy’ international USAR team.
In more recent years Peter has been the elected National Coordinator of the UK Fire Service International Search and Rescue Team and has been instrumental in developing UKISAR into one of the world’s leading teams.
This development allowed the team to successfully deploy to the 2009 Sumatra and 2011 New Zealand earthquakes with Peter as the UK Team Leader. The team also deployed to the Haiti earthquake and Japanese Tsunami when Peter led the supporting UK coordination role.
When not directly involved in deployments Peter and the UK ISAR team are very active members of the international search and rescue community. Peter is a mentor of other countries teams helping them achieve international standards and is a member of several international working groups helping to develop systems and protocols to improve international rescue capabilities.
Peter used to be a very active swimmer, water polo player and triathlete winning several medals at the World Firefighter Games and European Fire Service Swimming Championships in previous years. Commitments to his children and work combined with age and a stiff back has curtailed most of this but Peter plans a comeback sometime in the future.
‘I am extremely lucky to be doing what I do, it is a privilege and I will continue all the time I have something to offer’.