End of an era as firefighter attends his last 'shout' after 40 years at Colne Fire Station
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For Peter has clocked up an incredible 40 years service as an on call, formerly known as retained, firefighter. He signed up when he was just 20 but never dreamed he would spend the next 40 years doing a job he loved.
"In those days you had to be available 168 hours a week and live within five minutes of the station. It was a serious commitment that affected your whole life, including your family, as you had to plan days out when you wouldn't be on call. It's a lot more relaxed today," said Peter who was surprised with a visit from Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnson to present him with a long service medal at his final drill night at the station in Craddock Road.
The friendship and camaraderie of his colleagues and serving the community have been the highlights of the job for Peter who is married to Janice and has two daughters, Sarah and Linda.
Memorable fires he has covered include a large blaze at the Seed Ford garage in Colne and a fire that left a pub in Gargrave gutted.
Peter, whose 'day' job was a wagon driver, was also among the numerous firefighters who tackled the grass fires at Winter Hill in recent years, and he recalls spending 23 hours there one day.
With his new found freedom Peter is looking forward to devoting more time to his hobby of rearing chickens and spending time with his family including his grandsons Harry (14) and 10-year-old George.
And his advice to anyone considering joining the fire service is to go for it.
Peter said: "It is such a rewarding job and some of the courses and training offered can really help you to progress.
"The first aid training, in particular, is almost to paramedic standard."
Paying tribute to Peter, Station Manager Neil Hardiman said: “In my 30 years with Lancashire Fire and rescue Service Peter’s face has been a regular site on the many incidents I have attended.
"His commitment to the community in Colne, as well as his experience, will be sorely missed.
"The longevity of his career is a huge achievement and I wish him all the best."