Emergency services

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TWO years of consecutive success. That’s the story behind the RNLI which remains a lifesaving service deserving of massive praise.

The RNLI Hartlepool branch is a loyal team of 30-plus people who save and protect lives – and they do it all voluntarily.

But despite this incredible loyalty and commitment, Mike Craddy was still stunned to win the Emergency Services section of the Pride of Hartlepool awards.

The RNLI Hartlepool station operations manager said: “It is a surprise but it is great recognition for the work that we do.

“It is great recognition as well for everyone at the station and the time they put in.

“We have got volunteers here who come from all sorts of jobs. We got plumbers, electricians and a doctor.

“But we could not do this job without the support of the people.

“We survive because of the good people of Hartlepool who help us with donations, from young children to pensioners.”

Town lifeboat crews have completed 47 rescue missions in the last year alone.

And each year, it costs around £300,000 to keep the town lifeboat station operational but the team does it by a constant process of seeking donations.

It also relied on legacies and fundraising events to raise the money it needs.

Yet despite all that, and the fact that it was the fifth busiest station in the whole of the North East and has its own enterprise branch to make sure it gathers in the cash to keep it operational, its team were still stunned to become two-time winners of the

The team is on call every minute of every day of the year and yet all of its volunteers has other daytime jobs.