Prees Fire Station Re-dedication and Open Day recruitment boost

Former Officer in Charge, Mr Bill Ashley, re-dedicates Prees Fire Station
10th November, 2008

On Saturday 30 August 2008 Prees Fire Station held an Open Day/Recruitment Campaign which also included the re-dedication of the station by Mr Bill Ashley, a former Officer in Charge, following its refurbishment.

Appliances and equipment on show were:

Water ladder Prees

High volume pumping unit set up and operating from the brook at the rear of the station

Re-robe unit, shower tent set up

Rescue pump Whitchurch

Bedford Green Goddess pumping appliance (ex Home Office) owned by Grocontinental, Whitchurch Business Park

Prior to the event, posters were put up around the village and separate A5 flyers advertising the Open Day and the Recruitment Campaign were delivered to all residential properties in Prees.

All local businesses were initially written to and then visited by Retained Support Officers inviting them to the Open Day and to also highlight the shortage of firefighters to crew the appliances during daytime working hours in the hope of securing their support in releasing any potential new recruits to respond to incidents.

At 1.00 pm Bill Ashley performed the re-dedication ceremony by firstly giving a brief history of the fire service in Prees followed by the unveiling of the plaque. ACFO Steve Worrall replied and thanked Bill Ashley on behalf of the CFO and the Brigade.

Bill Ashley joined the Hodnet and Stanton joint Brigade in 1939. In 1951 he married his late wife, Molly, and they moved to live in Prees. This then meant Bill continued to give day cover at Hodnet and nights and weekends at Prees. In 1963 Bill started work at the Rubery Owen factory in Prees and, at the same time, became the Officer in Charge of Prees Fire Station, where he now provided full cover. He remained Officer in Charge until his retirement in 1982.

Thanks to Prees personnel for their efforts on the day and to those who cleaned the station, drill yard and the appliances prior to the event. Special thanks to Karen Chambers for taking charge of the refreshments and for overseeing the buffet following the re-dedication ceremony.

We are pleased to report all the above efforts have led to several encouraging enquiries which, hopefully, will lead to additional firefighters being recruited at Prees.