A firefighter reflects on 38 years of dedicated service

Published: 10 Jun 2014 15:000 comments

A RETAINED firefighter has retired from the line of duty after 38 years of loyal service.

Martin Kerby is retiring after 38 years as a retained firefighter at Bracknell Fire Station.

Martin Kerby is retiring after 38 years as a retained firefighter at Bracknell Fire Station.

Martin Kerby, from Binfield, joined Bracknell fire station’s retained firefighters crew in 1976 on a part-time basis and has stayed there ever since.

After initially joining due to a spate of heathland fires in the area at the time and with encouragement from a friend, he has even accelerated to become a retained watch manager at the station since 1988.

The 60-year-old has also had to juggle his firefighting commitments with his day job for British Airways in the arrivals department at Heathrow Airport, where he will continue to work.

After deciding to retire from the service on Saturday, he praised his time there, saying if he was given the chance to change anything he “wouldn’t change a thing”.

He said: “I have been given the chance to meet such great people over the years. I have really enjoyed my time with the service and it has been a very good career.

“I would recommend a career as a firefighter to anyone because I have enjoyed every moment of it.

“If I was given the chance to wind the clock back and start again I wouldn’t do anything differently.”

In recognition of his loyalty to the service the Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service presented him with a certificate and a brass badge of the service’s logo.

His crew members also presented him with a bronze statue of a firefighter carrying a baby.

He added that some of his highlights throughout his career were tackling the devastating Swinley Forest fires in 2011 and helping improve awareness surrounding causes of domestic fires.

He added: “It has been a fantastic career and I was really chuffed with what the service and the lads gave me – it will really help to remind me forever of my career there.”

Mr Kerby and his wife Josephine have two children, son Colin, 33, and daughter Sarah Burgess, 31. They also have two grandchildren – three-year-old Alfie and six-month-old Ruby.

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