Finally, after 76 years, Moira On-Call (retained) Fire and Rescue Station has closed.
I myself joined in 1998, when the basic training was two weeks of purgatory at Central Fire and Rescue Station. I have to say now that some of the principles picked up in those two weeks still come to the surface and will probably remain with me always. The trainers on the course were Watson and Nagra – both names still strike a chord!
The job has played a huge part in my life (and that of my family) and I hope that my part in it has played a positive part in other’s lives. As a firefighter you see some sights; the highs and lows of human life. Some things make you extremely sad and others lift your heart, but all these experiences fashion your outlook on life. I’ve never been one to dwell on some of the darker events but I will always remember the smiles and laughter.
It has to be said, the main thing I will take with me is the friends I have made, both at my own station and in the Service as a whole. A lot of people have left a lasting impression on me and they will always be in my thoughts. To be an On-Call (retained) Firefighter is a huge commitment and this shows in the people I have shared my time with. I remember sometimes crying with laughter in the back of the pump but conversely I have seen shock, sadness and horror etched in the faces of my colleagues after some particularly nasty incident. All these experiences make you a stronger person and I think that there can’t be many other jobs that give you these moments.
My thanks to all that have crossed my path and influenced me – there are too many to mention, but you will all be remembered!
Crew Manager  (at time of writing) Chris Sloan 2217




Letter of Thanks

For those of you who want to know what sort of work we do other than putting out fires, here’s a letter from DeMontfort University to show you. In April this year we helped to organise and provide a safety training day that was attended by students and staff. It’s yet another great example of various working partnerships we have in our communities and a demonstrates how our knowledge and expertise can be shared and utilised by other organisations.


Off duty firefighters tried desperately to save the life of a man who had a heart attack an hour before competitors in the tour de France raced through Essex. The crew from Romford’s Red Watch alongside a firefighter from Loughborough Fire and Rescue Station in Leicestershire and St John Ambulance battled to revive the man before the Air Ambulance Team arrived. Sadly the man died later in hospital.

Romford Crew Manager Nick Gunn and firefighters Karen Jackson, Nick Wilson and Steve Bird had travelled to the village of Moreton to watch the historic event.

Nick Gunn said: “My girlfriend lives in the village so I thought it would be an excellent place to watch the race. I saw a St John Ambulance man running and knew something was up. We followed him and found a firefighter from Loughborough called Colin Johnson attending to the elderly man. We offered our help and put all of our first aid training into practice. Once the Air Ambulance arrived they quickly assigned us roles and we worked for about an hour to try and bring him back to life.

“All of us sprang into action and everyone did all they could but sadly it wasn’t enough on this occasion. We have been in touch with the family to offer our deepest condolences and we’ve received a heart warming note thanking us for giving him a fighting chance.”

Rob McTaggart
Senior Communications Officer, London Fire Brigade

Letter of Thanks

Over the course of a year we receive a wide variety of compliments, concerns and complaints from those who live and/or work in our communities. It is always nice to hear that the work we do is appreciated, whether is is preventative, educational, response or turning up to support local community events.
Our Chief Fire and Rescue Officer recently received this letter from the Principal of Brockington College following our attendance at an incident there, by Red Watch from Southern Fire and Rescue Station. It is really great for firefighters to know that people take time to sit and write/email us to show their appreciation.


We will be sharing with you more of the correspondence we receive from members of our communities over the coming months. Thank you for all your continued support.

The Prince’s Trust Team Programme – Armed with a learning experience

After a 23 year career in the Army, which I started four days after officially leaving school at the age of 16, it was quickly coming up to my retirement at the young age of 40!  I had applied to join the police, as the thought of a normal nine to five job was not my cup of tea. I was lucky enough to have been accepted and I start the day after I leave the armed forces in October 2014.

Having served on nine operational tours over my career, including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, I was looking for something to do within my last few months as a serving soldier. I was posted to Leicester Careers Office a few years ago and as part of my outreach tasks I was introduced to The Prince’s Trust 12 Week Team Programme, delivered by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, through some of the Team members who had shown an interest in a career in the Army.  I would speak to them and even act as their recruiter if they did indeed want to join.  I also assisted on a Team residential and community project back in 2007.

I was told about secondments by one of the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service Prince’s Trust Team Leaders so I asked my Career Management Officer about it and said I would like to apply for it.  This would allow me to be back in the UK for longer than my last 6 months entitlement, as I was posted in Germany. I contacted Juliet Briggs, the Delivery Partner Manager, and spoke to her about my intentions, and she was more than happy to have me as a secondee. I was put onto the Team Leader training course which I enjoyed and learnt so many new things after having been focused on the Army for so long.

Having completed my training I was given the role of Assistant Team Leader working alongside Team Leader Laura Henderson who had lead several teams before. At first I was like a rabbit in headlights, having to watch what I said and remembering that the Team members are not in the Army and do not always do what you ask of them. After a couple of weeks I started to get used to the way young people behave, dress and even speak and I realised that I had been in a bubble for so long and really lost touch with young people.

Laura told me to relax and just be myself, which was the best advice I could have. I found that the young people would listen to me, especially when I was frank with them, as they often found people aren’t these days and they respected me for telling them the truth in an honest and straight forward manner. I have learnt so much from working on the Team Programme, it has not only opened my eyes to the younger generation but it has also stopped me from  judging people based on just the way they dress or speak. The Team members I have worked with may not have had the best start in life or maybe got mixed up with the wrong people, but they have made a start to change their life around just by turning up on the first day and later on by completing the whole 12 weeks.

I have loved every minute working with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and The Prince’s Trust and it has given me such a boost in my confidence working with young people, which no doubt will have a positive effect in my next job as a police officer.

I cannot recommend the experience enough to any serving member or ex-member of the Armed Forces who is looking for a challenging but rewarding time at work.

Staff Sergeant Kev Bagshaw
9th/12th Royal Lancers (POW’s)