THE LONGEST-SERVING firefighter in Shropshire’s fire service has retired.

John Davies served 33 years with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

He started as a firefighter and was promoted to lead firefighter – which later became crew manager – and was watch manager for the last 10 years.

John said: “It will be a huge pressure off my shoulders.

“This role is a monstrous responsibility as people’s lives and safety are in your hands.

“It doesn’t stop at the end of a day – a fire is never just a fire. It’s all the work that comes after an incident which takes up so much time.”

Oswestry fire service receives up to three calls every day, making it the busiest station in the area.

Neil Maguire, one of the firefighters at Oswestry station, said: “John has seen everything and has been faced with many situations – some that make funny stories and others that have been horrific events.”

Firefighters at the station described the job as “crazy” – saying one minute they could be at home with their family or in bed, and the next minute trying to make sense of a situation they are ‘thrown into’.

John added: “It has been absolutely amazing – I’d do it all again if I could.

“I am still working full-time at the railway but I look forward to having more time for myself.

“It will be good to have my weekends back to spend with my family.”