Farewell to Newport firefighter after 24 years

A Shropshire firefighter is retiring after more than two decades of service.

Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service group manager Adam Matthews with Martin Richardson
Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service group manager Adam Matthews with Martin Richardson

Martin Richardson started at Newport Fire Station in April 1997 and has since served the community as an on-call firefighter.

During his time of service, the 59-year-old has attended thousands of incidents across the county and dedicated much of his time to proactively reducing road traffic collisions.

Each year, Martin has carried out a demonstration with the crew from Newport at Harper Adams University in order to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries by educating young drivers.

A keen fundraiser, he has also ran the London Marathon nine times for various charities

Martin, who is also a firefighter for the Ministry of Defence in Donnington, Telford, said he would recommend joining Shropshire's fire service to anyone considering it.

"The job itself is fantastic," he added.

"Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service has been a brilliant employer. Everything's been spot on and you can't fault it at all.

The crew from Newport Fire Station

"Time's gone too quickly, like everything does. I've made a lot of friends, not just in Newport, but all the other stations, and it's been a hard decision to finally let it go."

Martin, who finished his last shift at midnight on Monday, said he was planning on spending his additional free time with his loved ones.

"I'll be spending time with my grandson and I've got another one on the way, so family time is the priority," he said.

"It's going to be strange for the first few weeks. It'll feel like a short holiday before it sinks in I won't be returning.

"I'm going to enjoy fishing and possibly take up some more charity work too."

Martin added: "I must say a big thank you to all the people I've worked with and met over the years.

"I would certainly recommend the job to people if they're interested in the fire service.

"You gain a lot from it, not just the training and firefighting, but making friends, meeting new people and learning new life experiences."

Charlie Cartwright, Martin's watch manager at the fire service, said: "Martin has been a mentor to all our new and development firefighters, and he’s famous for his Q&A sessions with them, of which they will miss.

"Martin will be missed by not only the firefighters at Newport, but also the whole service."

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