Control firefighter's emotional charity challenge

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Control Crew Manager Jamie Wardlaw will run 20 miles and cycle 30 miles in memory of his granddad.

Jamie Wardlaw (left ) And Calum Mc Manus

  Jamie (left) and friend Calum will take part in the grueling Highland Cross.


A Control Firefighter is taking part in a gruelling charity mission to raise funds for the dedicated health professionals who cared for his grandad during his final days.

Jamie Wardlaw, 26, became inspired to give back to the Highland Hospice after witnessing the level of care provided to his grandad, Norman.

Norman was admitted to the hospice before sadly passing away from cancer in 2001.

The hospice’s care, empathy and professionalism left Jamie determined to give something back to its “phenomenal staff” – by undertaking a 50 mile duathlon event on June 23.

Alongside two family friends - father and son Jim and Calum McManus - the 26-year-old is hoping to complete the Highland Cross, which will see him cycle 30 miles and run 20 to raise funds for the cause that is close to his heart.

He said: “I always wondered what kind of atmosphere there would be in a hospice.

“But the atmosphere in the Highland Hospice was happy and warm – and the staff were phenomenal, they were great with my grandad.

“I’ll always be grateful to the staff for their help, they were brilliant.

“I hate running, but if I can do just a little thing to give something back then that will be great.

“At the time my grandad was admitted I wasn’t old enough to give something back to the hospice or its staff, but now that I am, it feels amazing.”

Jamie, who serves as a Control Crew Manager, is a member of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s outstanding Operations Control team.

They handle emergency calls from the public and co-ordinate an effective emergency response to keep people safe, such as the recent spate of wildfires that took hold across the country.

He is based at Operations Control for the East in Edinburgh which handled the significant wildfire that took hold at the city’s Arthur’s Seat.

Jamie was previously based at Operations Control for the North in Dundee and his colleagues there worked with crews on the ground to contain and extinguish further challenging wildfires across the Isle of Skye, Torridon and Stathcarron.

And North Operations Control was recently visited by Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing who personally thanked Control Firefighters for their efforts.

Arthur’s Seat actually features in Jamie’s training regime which he tackles on his bike and his running route.

And while he admits he is not a keen runner, Jamie did scale Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, in 2013 - raising £30,000 for children’s charities in the process.

The Control Manager’s co-runners, Jim and Calum, have run the Highland Cross a combined six times, raising thousands of pounds for charity in the process.

This however will be Jamie’s first outing.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to the challenge - on the day itself I just hope it’s not too warm!

“I’m not going for a crazy time or anything, I’ll just be more than happy just to finish - as a team we will stick together throughout.”

Libby Logan is Area Manager for SFRS Operations Control.

She said: “Our dedicated Operations Control staff are resilient, calm under pressure - and utterly committed to protecting our communities.

“It therefore comes as no surprise that Jamie not only lives all of our values but displays a very keen spirit of partnership in wanting to give something back to the Highland Hospice.

“This is a very fitting way for Jamie to remember his grandfather by supporting the very people who cared for him, enabling them to continue to carry out their invaluable work.”

The Highland Cross is a coast-to-coast event and has raised close to £5 million for local good causes.

For more on Jamie’s charity mission and to donate visit