Northern Ireland fire & rescue crew commander receives highest accolade for bravery – the Queen’s Gallantry Medal

Published:  28 July, 2010

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) Crew Commander Gavin Miller from Limavady Fire Station has received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal, one of the highest civil decorations awarded in the UK for exemplary acts of bravery. 

NIFRS nominated Crew Commander Gavin Miller for this highest accolade to recognise his outstanding bravery in rescuing his colleague Leading Firefighter Joe McCloskey from the fire at Gorteen House Hotel in Limavady on 1 November 2003.  Despite the pain from the intense heat of the fire, Crew Commander Gavin Miller managed to reach his colleague and drag him to safety.  Tragically Leading Firefighter Joe McCloskey later died in hospital.

Crew Commander Gavin Miller is a retained (part time) Firefighter at Limavady Fire Station.  He joined Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service in 1998 and was promoted to Crew Commander in 2009.  He is married to Nuala and has a young son.

Tom Wright, Acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said:

“Everyone in Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service is delighted today that Gavin has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Gallantry Medal. It is so rightly deserved and we as an organisation are incredibly proud of him.  NIFRS has worked tirelessly to have Gavin recognised at the highest level for his unparalleled bravery.

“Today however is also a sad day for NIFRS as we remember the loss of our colleague Leading Firefighter Joe McCloskey at the tragic fire at Gorteen House Hotel in Limavady on 1 November 2003.  Joe remains in all our thoughts.”

Eoin Doyle, Western Area Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said:

“I am personally delighted to congratulate Gavin on receiving this highest civil decoration for his remarkable bravery in rescuing Leading Firefighter Joe McCloskey at the Gorteen House Hotel fire.  This recognition has taken some time but NIFRS has remained resolute in its desire to have Gavin decorated for his exemplary bravery.  Gavin truly represents what working for the fire and rescue service is all about and we are very proud of him.”

Crew Commander Gavin Miller, Limavady Fire Station said:

 “It is a great honour to receive the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.  I am overwhelmed and delighted but would like to dedicate this award to the memory of my colleague Leading Firefighter Joe McCloskey and his family.  My thoughts are and always have been with them.  I would also like to dedicate the award to all my colleagues who fought the fire on that tragic night.  It is such a privilege and inspiration to work with such courageous people every day.”

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

Waterax - We move water

Trusted by wildland firefighters around the world, WATERAX sets the industry standard by developing innovative, portable fire pumps and water-handling equipment designed to withstand demanding applications and rugged environments.

Big Water Flow for Industrial and Municipal Firefighting Applications

Protecting the lives of the public and firefighters while limiting the structural damage caused in large scale fires is our primary mission

We are committed to improving lives and doing business in the right way

We have a unique mix of capability and culture that we refer to as 3M Science and we strive to develop products that improve people’s daily lives in a multitude of ways.

HazSim - Bringing situational HazMat training to life

HazSim, LLC provides innovative simulation training to ensure your team works safely and effectively. HazSim Pro simulation equipment is in use by hundreds of fire departments, training schools, industrial fire teams, and private trainers across the US, Canada and further afield as well as the US Army.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

Foam fights fire

Europe’s foremost fire fighting foam manufacturer has been developing and producing foams since the 1920s.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.