Paramedics, police, coastguards and firefighters gather for unveiling of seafront tribute in memory of lost comrades

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Emergency services personnell gathered on Blackpool Promenade today along with MP Paul Maynard and deputy Mayor Paula Burdess for the unveiling of a one-of-a-kind bench which thanks them for their dedication.

The unveiling of the emergency services bench at Gynn Square - Connie Jarvis, two

The unveiling of the emergency services bench at Gynn Square – Connie Jarvis, two

The black bench was installed at Gynn Square this morning. It features silhouette images of various emergency services personnell – including a police dog – along with the words ‘in the line of duty, our emergency services who serve, protect and save lives’.

It was donated by paramedic Sharon Riley-Clarke, 54, and is the fourth such tribute bench to be installed in the Fylde coast area.

Two Armed Forces memorial benches were installed on Victoria Road in Cleveleys in 2016 and 2018; one decorated with poppies and bees, and the other, which marked the centenary of the end of the First World War, with soldiers and bi-planes.

The unveiling of the emergency services bench at Gynn Square - deputy Mayor Paula Burdess gives a speechThe unveiling of the emergency services bench at Gynn Square – deputy Mayor Paula Burdess gives a speech

A blue bench reading ‘thank you to all our amazing NHS staff’ was also donated by Sharon and her husband Paul, 57, to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Sharon said: “It was a perfect morning. Lots of retired police officers and ambulance staff turned up, and also family and friends.

“The deputy Mayoress did such a lovely speech about emergency services and how hard we have all worked throughout the pandemic and how we have all pulled together.

The unveiling of the emergency services bench at Gynn SquareThe unveiling of the emergency services bench at Gynn Square

“We are all really thrilled with the bench and what it means. It’s a memorial bench as well as a thank you, because lives have been lost, whether during the pandemic or before, it’s a tribute to all those who have died in the line of duty.”