Firefighter marks incredible 40 Year Anniversary

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A South Lanarkshire firefighter has been honoured after marking his incredible 40-year anniversary as a retained firefighter at Biggar Community Fire Station

John Carrick first joined Strathclyde Fire Brigade in 1980, and now serves as Watch Commander, balancing his role with family life and his primary job as a Diesel Mechanic with a local transport company.

He was joined by colleagues at the station’s weekly Wednesday drill night for a socially-distanced celebration to mark the milestone.

Watch Commander (WC) Carrick said: “This job is about helping people and I’m proud to still be doing that after 40 years. The fire service is there for the community of Biggar even through these difficult times, and that is reassuring.”

John is originally from Abington, a rural neighbour to Biggar, and started his fire service journey alongside his father and brothers there for the first couple of years, before moving across the A702 to Biggar.

“I love what I do, and I’m very proud to have reached this point,” he said.

“I’ve attended a lot of incidents. We cover a huge geographical area here and you just never really know what you’re going to get. That keeps you on your toes.”

“It’s vitally important to ensure the fire and rescue service remains at the heart of the community, and ready to respond when needed most.”

WC Carrick added: “I’d like to thank my wife Lorraine and daughters Joanne and Amanda for their support over the years. Being a retained firefighter has had an impact on their lives too and they’ve shown real patience and understanding throughout.”

COVID-19 restrictions meant that family and past colleagues were unable to attend the occasion, however John was still presented with his 40-year anniversary certificate by his Biggar Crew on behalf of Area Commander Alan Fairbairn, Local Senior Officer for South Lanarkshire.

Area Commander Fairbairn congratulated his colleague on the milestone, saying: “His 40-year service has seen him attend thousands of incidents and has been at the centre of some of South Lanarkshire’s most notable fires, road traffic accidents and special services.

“It is a remarkable achievement to complete 40 years as an on-call firefighter and my thanks go to John for his fantastic commitment to our Service.

“He has undoubtedly seen many changes during his time at Biggar and within South Lanarkshire, but one thing that hasn’t waned is his commitment to keeping others safe, and giving back to his community.”

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