A retiring Peterborough Station Commander who joined Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service to help people hopes to forge a new career outside the service doing the same.
Station Commander Harry Edge, from Stanground Fire Station, always dreamt of joining the Fire Service after growing up with his dad as a firefighter in the Cheshire Fire Service.
He grew up having lived his dream, and retired this month.
Colleagues gathered at his station to give Harry, 50, his send off and watch him receive his retirement figurine from Area Commander Maurice Moore.
Harry said: “I will always remember the friendliness and camaraderie of the Service. I have had lots and lots of good times.
“It was always a dream of mine to join a civilian fire service. Helping people was just something I wanted to do. Now I’m retired I just want to chill out for a little while and catch up with all my family in Liverpool and then I want to go back to working with people and helping people but nothing too stressful. Possibly some charity work, caring for people.”
AC Moore said: “Many people in the Service will have happy memories of the time they spent in the company of Harry. It would be true to say that he is one of the biggest characters we have seen in the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service in recent years.
“His ability to deal with difficult situations and support his team is so critical in emergency service provision. His support for staff has enhanced the Service we provide to the community and will influence what happens in their future careers.”
When he left school Harry decided to join the RAF’s fire service first to gain experience and travel.
Having been stationed in about 11 countries round the world, including the Falkland Islands, Germany, Holland and Sardinia, Harry then joined CFRS as a firefighter just over 23 years ago, aged 26 years old.
He spent five or six years based at Huntingdon Fire Station before moving to Cambridge Fire Station where he worked as a temporary sub officer – the equivalent of today’s Watch Commander role.
Harry, from Benwick, also worked at the Training Centre in Huntingdon, training firefighters to deal with hazardous materials, road traffic collisions and using breathing apparatus.
He also worked at Wisbech Fire Station as an operations manager and Station Commander; Huntingdon Fire Station as an on-call support officer before moving to Stanground Fire Station where he spent his last year in the Service as a Station Commander before retiring.