Oswestry firefighter John Davies has retired after a 33 year career with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.
John (61), who is Watch Manager in charge at Oswestry Fire Station, hung up his helmet at his final Wednesday night drill night this week. (July 19th)
His long service as an on call firefighter covering the Oswestry region means he has attended around 1,700 weekly drill nights where firefighters practice their skills ready to deal with any emergency which comes their way.
An engineer by trade, John has worked over the years at JCB in Wrexham, Stadco in Shrewsbury and for Fred Jones’s steel production works in Oswestry, where he was allowed to leave work at a moment’s notice to answer 999 calls during his 26 years at the company.
“I joined the fire service in 1983 as a second job because I thought it may be interesting,” said John.
Over the years he has attended hundreds of emergency calls, many in the middle of the night, to deal with house fires, road traffic victims, floods and hill rescues.
He was also at the scene of the tragic house fire which killed the Foster family at Maesbrook in 2008 and the blaze which destroyed Woodside School.
“I never thought it was unusual but a lot of people don’t realise the amount of times you turn out in the dark and cold not knowing what you are going to and when you are coming home.
“But if you can save a life, human or animal, you have done a good job as that’s what it is all about.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at Oswestry Fire Station and it’s now time for someone else to take over,” added John, who praised Area Group Manager Rob Corfield for his support.
John, who is carriage and wagon manager at Llangollen to Corwen’s heritage railway, has been Watch Manager at Oswestry Fire Station for the past ten years.
Crew Manager Ade Bowen said: “He has done a good job, been very fair and understanding and has always been there for help if anyone has had a problem. We are all very proud to have served under him and wish him well for the future.”