Two Fife Group Managers retire after 30 years

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Tribute to both was paid by Iain Vincent who is Local Senior Officer for Fife.

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Two Group Managers that have served their local community for almost 30 years are set to retire.

Bert Stewart served his last day at Thornton, Fife on 24 March and Alex Smart will serve his last day almost a month apart on 22 April.

Tribute to both was paid by Iain Vincent who is Local Senior Officer for Fife.

He said: “The commitment from Bert and Alex over the past 30 years has been outstanding and their contribution has been an integral part of taking the service forward.

“Having worked closely with both over the years, their knowledge and professionalism has always been to the highest standard. Their exemplary service has no doubt had a vital impact on many peoples’ lives.

“They have both provided me with a great level of support over the years and commanded a great deal of respect from the staff they managed. Their combined experience and knowledge will be a great loss to the service.

“I wish them both a long and happy retirement.”

Bert joined the service in 1988 after serving 14 years in the coal pits. He worked at various stations across Fife and his career span took him through various departments to Group Manager of Operations in Fife.

Bert said: “I joined the fire service over 27 years ago as a 30-year-old probationer.  Since then I’ve served, in some capacity, on all the Fife stations with the exception of Glenrothes, as well as Technical Services, Training, Human Resources and Operations at Thornton. 

“Throughout that time I’ve learned a lot and laughed a lot and I’ve worked with a wide range people who have taught me many things – some of which have been really useful.
“I will miss the job, I will miss the work; but most of all, I will miss the people.”

Alex joined the former Fife Fire and Rescue Service on 16 May 1986 and has dedicated 30 years of his life to protecting the communities of Fife.

Alex has also served in a number of stations across Fife and during his career spent periods in a number of departments ending in his current role of Group Manager in Prevention and Protection. He is a popular figure with partner agencies, colleagues and within the communities in which he has worked.

Alex said: “The job has given me many career opportunities and it is a proud achievement to have been involved in such a forward thinking Service for the last 30 years. It seems only yesterday I started as a trainee Firefighter back in 1986, but the journey has been a long and productive one.”

“There was a complete change in philosophy some 15 years ago, when we changed our emphasis to provide information and education to prevent people from having fires in their homes. I firmly believe this has had a significant impact for the communities of Fife; in reducing the number of house fires and people hurt or killed as a result. I am happy to say I have been part of that and I would like to thank all of my friends and colleagues in the Fire Service and our partner agencies who made it possible”

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