Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

Tetbury firefighter retires after nearly 50 years service

After nearly 50 years of service as a firefighter, today Mike Houghton steps down from his duties for Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service.

Joining the fire service as a cadet in 1964 at the age of 16, Mike has spent is entire career based in Gloucestershire as both a retained and full-time firefighter.

Mike first worked at Patchway Fire Station until border changes in 1974. He then served in Stroud until 1998 where he especially remembers attending a fire a Lloyds Bank and a ship fire at Sharpness Docks.

Mike has completed the last 15 years of his career as a retained firefighter based in Tetbury where he also served as a full time firefighter back in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Fires in the summer of 1976 are particularly memorable for Mike, and of course the 2007 floods, but his proudest moment came when be received his 40-year silver plate from Gloucestershire's lord lieutenant. Mike has most enjoyed the camaraderie of the job and serving his local community.

Mike says, "The most bizarre incident was when the fire engine we were going to a call in collided with a caravan after a driver pulled out in front of it. The driver said he forgot he had the caravan on the back of the car and thought he could beat the truck - but the truck went right through the caravan!""

A dab hand at saving cattle from the Stonehouse canal, numerous call-outs have usually ended with Mike being pushed into the water.

In retirement Mike plans to spend time with his wife Doreen and his daughters and grandchildren as well as spending time on his allotment.

Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall said, "Mike has given remarkable service to his communities. Few firefighters manage to maintain fitness and enthusiasm for nearly 50 years and I know that he will be sorely missed by colleagues. We wish him and his family a very long and happy retirement without the omnipresent burden of a pager."

ENDS

Issued by:Sarah Williams, Gloucestershire County Council Media Team, 01452 425226

12th December 2013