Terrington St Clement fireman retires after 40 years
- Credit: Ian Burt
A man who dedicated his free time to serve his community as a retained firefighter has retired after 40 years.
And Michael Neeve, 61, who has now handed over the reigns as watch manager at Terrington St Clement fire station, can sum up the reason why he loved his second career.
'When I joined the job, a bloke said to me the reason why he joined the service is to help someone who is in a muddle,' he said. 'It's true, by helping someone in their moment of need - you come away feeling pleased and proud.'
Mr Neeve was an apprentice agricultural engineer for WH Kerkham Rhoon in Terrington St Clement when he became a retained firefighter in 1974.
He recalled: 'I was at the local blacksmiths with the Hodgson family, who many of them were in the fire service. One of them said to me 'Do you fancy joining the fire service?' And I thought, why not?'
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Mr Neeve said that his employers were very supportive of him joining the service, and understood when Mr Neeve's bleeper went off, he had to rush to the village fire station - within four minutes.
He explained: 'I worked for the Kerkham family for 30 years. About 95pc of the incidents I would normally be back to work within the hour - you learn how to switch your 'hats' very quickly.'
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Looking back on his time as a retained firefighter, Mr Neeve said his career highlight was being promoted to leading fireman in 1990.
He said: 'It was the most rewarding period as it allowed me to attend the National Fire Service College and I was able to use my experience and knowledge to help train new recruits.'
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