A family firefighting tradition

Fathers and sons: left to right Glenn and Adam and Connor and Craig Willis – all serving at Baschurch Fire Station.

A family firefighting tradition continued with the “passing out” of new recruits from Shrewsbury and north Shropshire.

Among the latest batch of new firefighters were 20-year-old cousins Adam and Connor Willis, who follow in their fathers’ footsteps by all four serving at Baschurch fire station.

Adam’s father Glenn and Connor’s father Craig, both brothers, are stationed at Baschurch. Connor’s great-grandfather was also a firefighter at the station in the 1930’s.

Adam, a lifeguard at Shrewsbury Swimming and Fitness Centre, won the “top student” award presented by instructor Drew Perkins at their passing out parade. Connor works as a self-employed manufacturer of wooden palletts. Both play for the Admiral Duncan pub football team in Baschurch.

The latest recruits were: Connor Willis, Adams Willis, Elaine Timmis (Baschurch station); Will Rollow, an instructor at Stoke Heath and Ruth Walkerdine, an NVQ assessor at Shropshire Council (Hodnet fire station); James Hopley (Prees fire station); Oliver Kynaston (Ellesmere fire station); Keith Woodville and Daniel Minshall (Shrewsbury fire station).Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond praised them all for joining the fire service as retained firefighters.

He told a total of 18 new recruits who had just finished their basic training: “The public love and trust you. You must work hard to earn that trust. You are never off duty.”

The fire chief thanked employers including Simon and Anne Hopley who employ their son James in the family farming business at Prees and Mike and Hazel Timmis, whose daughter Elaine also works on the family farm at Baschurch.

Don Mullinex, Oliver Kynaston, and Stuart West

Mr Don Mullinex, of Fulwood Ltd, of Ellesmere, who employs firefighter Oliver Kynaston, was thanked by Councillor Stuart West, chairman of Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority. (left)

He also thanked Don Mullinex, of Fulwood’s of Ellesmere, “a long standing supporter” of the fire service who employs Oliver Kynaston as a production operative.

They passed out alongside colleagues Daniel Minshall and Keith Woodville, who won the instructor’s award, and who will both be based at Shrewsbury fire station.

Councillor Stuart West, chairman of Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority, said that they would not be able to operate a fire service without the support of employers who allowed their staff to leave “at a moment’s notice” to attend a public emergency.

Retained Support Officer Andy Bevon said: “The evening was a great success and was a fitting way to mark the achievements of the Retained Duty System Firefighters.

“The event was the organisation’s way of acknowledging the huge commitment that they, their families and employers have shown to enable them to reach this point. It was great to see so many of their families, friends and employers there to support them.

“There was a fantastic atmosphere and the evening was enjoyed by all those involved.”

24th September, 2010