A COUPLE have thanked a Stretford firefighting duo who went to their rescue when they were involved in a serious cycling collision.

Rich Philips and Linda Jennings were returning from taking part in the Manchester naked bike ride – an event aimed at raising awareness off carbon emissions and cycling – on June 6, when their bikes collided at around 8.15pm, causing Linda to fly over the handle bars and hit the ground.

Stretford Blue Watch firefighters, Kevin Williams and Jim Hutchin, were returning to Stretford Fire Station, having attended a separate incident, when they spotted the couple.

Jim said: “We saw a bit of a commotion and as we got closer we could see Linda on the floor and I said to Kev ‘we’re going to have to stop’.

“Because we were on the aerial appliance we didn’t have all the kit we have on a fire engine but we had a first aid kit and there was a first aider already on scene so between us we were able to look after her.”

The firefighters gave first aid and kept Linda warm with a blanket while also providing care to Rich who had suffered a cut to his arm.

Linda, 47, from Horwich, broke her collarbone, knuckle and ribs and suffered cuts to her head and body.

She was taken to hospital and is now recovering from her injuries.

On July 9, Rich and Linda were reunited with Kevin and Jim at Stretford Fire Station, on Park Road, where they met the rest of Blue Watch while the duo were being presented with a Wow! Award, which Rich and Linda had nominated them for.

Rich, aged 49, from Simister, said: “When the accident happened we were in shock, injured and vulnerable.

"The calm assurance of the firefighters filtered through all the noise and panic and helped us to cope with what was a scary situation.

“Without the actions of Kevin and Jim I just don’t know where we’d be now – they are outstanding individuals who no doubt are a great source of pride to their families, colleagues and the whole of GMFRS.”

During the last year, GMFRS has piloted the WOW! Awards and invited members of the public to nominate staff who they feel have particularly impressed them.

For more information about the awards, or to make a nomination, visit manchesterfire.gov.uk/contact_us/wow_awards.aspx