Firefighters replace stolen medals of late colleague for his heartbroken widow

Linda Heath being presented with the replica medals to replace the ones belonging to her late husband Ian, which were stolen.
Linda Heath being presented with the replica medals to replace the ones belonging to her late husband Ian, which were stolen.

Generous firefighters have replaced the medals of a late colleague which were stolen during a burglary.

Linda Heath was left heartbroken when thieves stole the service medals belonging to her late husband, Ian.

Ian Heath, a former Sub Officer with County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, retired in 2003.

Sadly, Ian, passed away recently and his family was left heartbroken when someone broke into their home in Seaham and stole the medals, which were of huge sentimental value, along with a haul of other items.

CDDFRS heard about the event and arranged for replacement medals to be made, which were presented to Ian's family this week.

Ian started his career with CDDFRS in 1979 as a firefighter and retired as a Sub Officer in 2003.

His passion for the service runs deep in the family with his brother Chris now a retired firefighter, son Craig and son-in-law Lee, both serving as on call crew managers and grandson Dylan, a fire cadet at Seaham Fire Station.

Chief Fire Officer Stuart Errington said: "A fire service career is unlike any other, you really do become part of a big extended family which becomes a way of life.

"We value every member of our fire family, past and present and were absolutely devastated for the Heath family when we found out Ian’s medals had been stolen.

"We know the new medals will never be able to replace the originals, but hopefully they can provide some comfort to Mrs Heath and the rest of the family."