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Saturday 29 December 2012 Updated: 02/01 15:01
A COVENTRY firefighter of 23 years and world renowned diver has been made a Member of the of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Years’ honours list.
Richard Stanton - who is based at Canley Community Station - has received the honour in recognition of his service to the communities of the West Midlands as a firefighter and for the cave diving rescue services he carries out on a voluntary basis both in the UK and abroad.
It is the second honour of 2012 for 51-year-old Mr Stanton who earlier this year was awarded a Bronze Medal from the Royal Humane Society for his efforts two years ago to recover the body of French diver Eric Establie who was trapped at the Ardeche Gorge, near Marseille.
"It isn’t particularly unusual for me to get official looking letters in the post because of my international rescue work, but when I got notification of this on behalf of the Palace I was absolutely astounded," he said.
"I’m just doing work I enjoy to the best of my ability, but I’m thrilled to be awarded the MBE."
Other rescue missions Mr Stanton has been involved in are six British soldiers who had become trapped in rising flood water in a cave in Mexico.
And last year he was voted Hero of the Year by colleagues at the fire service's Aspire Awards ceremony.
Vij Randeniya, chief fire officer at West Midlands Fire Service, added: "Richard is a shining example of someone who has demonstrated exceptional bravery time and again, going above and beyond the call of duty for the benefit of others.
"He selflessly puts himself in danger to help, and is one of only four world renowned cave divers.
"He has a reputation for pushing himself beyond the limits and has become well known around the globe for his work because of such bravery and the level of expertise he has developed.
"And yet with his confident but quiet and unassuming nature, he seeks neither fame nor recognition for what he does so well. I am delighted for Richard, he thoroughly deserves this accolade."
Richard Stanton wins Royal Humane Society bravery award www.coventryobserver.co.uk/2012/08/16/news-Cave-diver-picks-up-award-after-brave-rescue-bid-47990.html
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