NIGEL Jones from Goytre has been named as the Pride of Gwent Emergency Services ‘Blue Light’ Hero of the Year.

“I haven't led what most people would call a quiet career path or private life but I wouldn't have it any other way,” said Mr Jones, 59, now in his 43rd year in uniform.

He spent 11 years in the army, having joined aged 16, before dedicating another 24 years of his life to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Now based at Monmouth Ambulance Station, our Blue Light Hero has spent almost a decade with the Welsh Ambulance Service and has twice been deployed as part of an overseas disaster response team.

South Wales Argus:

“The volunteering work is something I choose to do, not for payment or reward but for the satisfaction that I am putting the skills and knowledge that I have gathered over the years to good use,” he said.

“With REACT Disaster Response, we aim to help the hardest-to-reach and most vulnerable in the fastest time and I am working with like-minded individuals who all have that same aim.”

Mr Jones' volunteering has taken him to Australian bushfires in 2020, NHS hospitals during Covid and the aftermath of Türkiye’s devastating earthquakes in 2023.

“Türkiye stands out due to the sheer devastation we encountered across our area of operations in Hatay Province. It was truly an assault on the senses,” he said.

South Wales Argus: Nigel Jones saw the devastating impact of the earthquakes in the Hatay Province

“I don’t do the volunteering for reward and here I am – now getting one! I don’t get many.

“I will say that, whilst it is me picking up this award, it is truly for all the people who volunteer and put themselves out of their comfort zone.

“As REACT say, they show selfless commitment, walk towards danger when called upon and show courage and humility.

“I’m picking up the award on behalf of the team, all the people who were deployed to Hatay Province with REACT, and the headquarters team in Wiltshire, ensuring everything ran as smoothly as it could.”

The team are currently delivering medical training for REACT’s charity partners in Ukraine and Mr Jones has asked people to consider making a donation at

The South Wales Argus Pride of Gwent Awards winners’ ceremony takes place on Thursday, December 7, at Rodney Parade.