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Biddulph firefighter retires after 38 years

June 11 2018
Station Manager with retired retained Biddulph firefighter Dave Davies

Station Manager with retired retained Biddulph firefighter Dave Davies

One of the longest serving retained Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) firefighters in Biddulph has retired after 38 years of keeping his local community safe.

“My colleagues are friends for life who I will still see about town. I’ve got so many brilliant memories from over the years and I would encourage anyone who is thinking of joining as a retained firefighter to go for it."

Dave Davies

On Saturday June 9 Dave Davies was joined by colleagues, friends and family at Biddulph Town Hall, where he was presented with a certificate congratulating him on his retirement and thanking him for his work.

Dave joined the Service in September 1979 when he was just 18-years-old, securing a retained position at Biddulph, his local fire station. He also enjoyed working as a mechanic in a local textile mill and a coal miner alongside his retained duties. When the pits closed he took up the role of a Technician with SFRS, travelling around the Staffordshire Moorlands fitting smoke alarms in people’s homes.

In 2006 Dave successfully applied to become a wholetime firefighter, working first at Burton, then Burslem before transferring to Hanley where he continues to work as Crew Manager.

Dave, aged 56, said the years have flown by and it only seems like five minutes since he joined as a retained firefighter.

He said: "I have dedicated my life to the Service, committing 120 hours a week on call around my other full time jobs. This meant my family also gave up a lot of their lives and they have been very supportive – for example I was never able to have sole care of my children in case my pager went off. I intend to make up for this now and will be spending a lot of time with my grandchildren.

“There have been so many memorable moments over the years – far too many to recall but one of the saddest has to be the Boseley Wood Treatment fire where we assisted colleagues from Cheshire. Those who lost their lives in that fire were from Biddulph so the incident really hit home and was really difficult to deal with.

“Over my time with the Service I have definitely seen a decline in the number of fires, which is good because it means people are safer, you don’t want to get called to incidents but when you do this is where you really learn, the training is essential but you learn so much at each real incident.

“It’s strange not listening for my pager anymore, actually being able to switch off and relax – it’s going to take some getting used to. But we’ve got a family holiday to look forward to and I’m sure my wife will find me lots of jobs to do. Now I’ve got some spare time I’ve also taken up golf so we’ll see how that goes.

“My colleagues are friends for life who I will still see about town. I’ve got so many brilliant memories from over the years and I would encourage anyone who is thinking of joining as a retained firefighter to go for it." 

Station Manager Carl Mason added: "I’d like to commend Dave on the commitment that he has shown to SFRS and his local community. It takes a very dedicated person to devote their spare time to helping to protect the public when they are also working in other roles as Dave has. I would like to thank him on of behalf of the Service for the important part he has played in helping to keep the residents of Biddulph safe for the past 38 years."

The Service is currently recruiting retained firefighters for all areas of Stoke-on-Trent and the Staffordshire Moorlands, with a particular need for retained firefighters who are able to commit to being on call during the day. For more information contact Kevin McLintock 01785 898927/07794213478 or visit the careers section of the website here.