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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Retained Crew Manager is to retire after nearly 40 years

18/02/2015

Brian Keay
Firefighter Brian Keay

One of the longest serving retained firefighters in Staffordshire is set to retire after nearly 40 years of keeping the community safe.

"It has been a real honour to spend so long working for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and I know that I will miss it greatly. I am taking so many positive memories with me and I would encourage anyone who is thinking of joining as a retained firefighter to go for it." 

Retained Crew Manager Brian Keay

Brian Keay, from Stone, joined the Service in June 1975 and was initially based at Eccleshall where he worked for 22 years.

He then moved to Stone where he has spent the past 18 years protecting local residents.

Crew Manager Brian, aged 64, said he had witnessed many changes during his time as a retained firefighter.

He added: "The Service has been transformed since I joined nearly 40 years ago and it is now a much more efficient operation. When I started the equipment was much more basic than the hi-tech kit we use today. The first time I was involved in a car roof removal following a collision we only had hand tools so the advancements in technology have made it much easier to rescue people, meaning they can access potentially life-saving medical help far more quickly.

"The fire stations have also changed for the better. I started at Eccleshall and then moved to Stone fire station, which has recently been knocked down, and I have been lucky enough to spend a bit of time in the brand new community fire station which is a vast improvement. It is a state-of-the-art facility and really reflects the needs of the fire and rescue service in the 21st Century as well as providing a focal point for the community.

"It has been a real honour to spend so long working for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and I know that I will miss it greatly. I am taking so many positive memories with me and I would encourage anyone who is thinking of joining as a retained firefighter to go for it."

Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford added: "The commitment that Brian has shown for almost four decades is highly commendable. It takes a very dedicated person to devote their spare time to helping to protect their community when they are also working in a full time job as Brian does. I would like to thank him on of behalf of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service for the important part he has played in helping to keep the residents of Stone and Eccleshall safe for the past 40 years."