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Honouring Scotland's heroes

14/05/2010

Scotland's heroes are to be officially recognised at a new annual Brave@Heart Award ceremony, First Minister Alex Salmond announced today.

Fifty Scots will be commended for their courage at a special celebration at Edinburgh Castle hosted by the First Minister on June 9.

Nominations have been put forward by blue light services and rescue organisations and considered by an independent panel. Of those selected to receive a Brave@Heart Award 26 are emergency service staff and 24 are members of the public.

The First Minister made the announcement at Alex Kirkwood & Sons in Edinburgh who will make the St Andrew's Award medals.

He was joined by Riah Holland and Kirsten Elder from Glenrothes in Fife. The two 15-year-olds were nominated by Fife Police to receive Brave@Heart Awards after their courage helped save a life.

First Minister Alex Salmond said:

"It has been a privilege to meet Kirsten and Riah and to hear their story. They demonstrated tremendous courage to intervene and safe a life.

"Scotland should be proud of its heroes and recognise their achievements. An annual awards ceremony is a fitting way to give those responsible for outstanding acts of courage the recognition that they deserve.

"Fifty people have been selected by an independent panel to receive a Brave@Heart Award and several of them will also be given St Andrew's Award for their exceptional bravery.

"I am impressed and humbled by the heroism and selflessness of everyone who has been selected for a Brave@Heart Award. Their courage in the face of danger and concern for their fellow man is truly inspiring. l look forward to marking and celebrating their remarkable actions at the Brave@Heart reception next month."

The Brave@Heart Award and St Andrew's Award replace the First Minister's Commendation for Meritorious Conduct and the annual Scotland's Heroes First Minister's reception as the official Scottish Government recognition for bravery.

The validation panel that considered nominations consisted of a representative from the Association Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), the Chief Fire Officer Association Scotland (CFOAS) and the Scottish Ambulance Service. The panel was chaired by Professor David Alexander of the Aberdeen Centre for Trauma Research, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.