Aboyne firefighter William Kennedy hangs up tunic after 30 years

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Group Manager John Morgan and Station Manager Colin Westwood attended a ceremony recently to present Bill with his retirement certificate and thank him for his dedication and hard work

FF William Kennedy Retires

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said goodbye and thank you to Aboyne firefighter William Kennedy when he retired after 30 years of service recently.

Bill, as he is more commonly known, was presented with his retirement certificate by Group Manager John Morgan and was joined by his colleagues and Station Manager Colin Westwood at the ceremony.

He has dedicated the last 30 years of his life to protecting the communities in which he lives from fire and GM Morgan said: "Bill is a credit to himself, his family, his colleagues, the service and to the community.

"He deserves all the credit in the world for his unwavering commitment to community safety and the dedication he has displayed over the past 30 years."

His day job saw him work with SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) as a clerk of works and he was born in Aboyne.

Bill is married to Linda and has three children and a number of grandchildren.

He has attended a number of high profile incidents over the years, including the major wildfire at Mar Lodge last year and a serious shop fire at Strachan to name but a few. Bill also spent a period as a sub officer at Aboyne in the late 1980s.

GM Morgan added: "Bill has decided to hang up his tunic and devote his available time to his family. He has thoroughly enjoyed his time with the service and has many memories of his fire service career.

"We wish Bill all the best for his future and he is very welcome to drop past the station for a cuppa with his colleges on a drill night."

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is currently encouraging men and women to apply to join the service as retained firefighters across Aberdeenshire and Moray. The cut-off date for application in the latest round of recruitment is 1 June so there’s no time to waste.

Alford, Banchory, Banff, Buckie, Ellon, Fraserburgh, Inverurie, Stonehaven, Cullen, Forres, Lossiemouth and Rothes are also looking for new members of their team and SFRS is encouraging people to sign up and ‘live a life less ordinary’.

RDS firefighters come from diverse backgrounds and bring a variety of experiences to the role. A range of skills are required including being a team player, having excellent communication skills and displaying attention to detail.

You must be aged 18 years or over, have a good level of physical fitness, have the required standard of vision and colour perception and live or work within five to eight minutes of the fire station.

Station Manager Colin Westwood said: "RDS firefighters are called upon to attend the same wide range of emergency service as wholetime firefighters, including fires, floods, road traffic accidents, chemical spills and more.

"They can also be called upon to work with wholetime firelighters to promote fire safety messages, giving fire safety advice to schools and other organisations as well as carrying out free home fire risk assessments within their communities.

"It is a very rewarding job and there are tangible benefits for employers who support and allow their staff to become RDS firefighters. Retained=retrained and employers will have a member of staff who will bring a host of transferrable skills."

In return RDS firefighters are paid an annual retainer fee plus additional payments for every incident attended and time spent on all activity including training nights, community engagement and courses.

You will need to demonstrate that you have the potential to carry out this challenging role through a rigorous recruitment process, full details of which are documented within the attached information pack, with further supplementary information provided on our website www.firescotland.gov.uk

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