AN OSWESTRY station manager with more than three decades of experience has been bid a fond farewell by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

Adrian Bowen is stepping down after serving 32 years as an on-call firefighter and watch manager at Oswestry Fire Station.

His firefighting career began when a Royal Mail work colleague encouraged him to sign up and as he had always admired the local firefighters, he knew that it was something he had to do.  


Adrian gave some advice to anyone wishing to join the service in the future and be part of the community.

He said: “You must be prepared to drop everything, and be happy to be part of the community.

“When that pager goes off, I can’t wait to get there.

“I am a firm believer in having a chat over a cuppa.”

Adrian’s love for the role is clear although he admits it has at times been hard to manage his firefighting role alongside his role at the Post Office.

Ultimately, he feels his success is the result of having a supportive and loving family behind him. 

His wife, Louise and son, Toby have both demonstrated understanding to the demands of the role, enabling Adrian to just focus and respond to emergencies at the ‘drop of a hat’. 

Adrian is described by colleagues as ‘an unassuming and humble man’ with a ‘can do’ attitude. His commitment has never been in doubt.

For example, when an urgent call came in seeking firefighters to help tackle wildfires on the Whitehill moor in Lancashire, Adrian sacrificed his leave to sign up. 

There have been countless times that a call to emergency has meant Adrian missed important family occasions.

A SFRS spokesman added: “Adrian is admired and respected by his colleagues.

“He was once tasked with climbing to the top of a tower for a specific task.

“Determined and focused, he made his way up, only to hear a voice crackle over the radio after some deliberation - he had climbed the wrong tower.

“This is a story that still brings a chuckle to those who hear it.

“His open-door policy meant he has always been on hand to provide a listening ear and kind words to many, his care of people is apparent.

“Although Adrian does not want to retire, he is looking forward to travelling more but admits he will find it hard to not work.”

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Rob Simcox, assistant group commander for the West, added: “We are all sorry to see Adrian leave, he is a genuine and unique person and his dedication and commitment to the fire service has been outstanding, he will be missed.”

Adrian added: “Thank you very much to you all for making my life at SFRS a very happy one.”

If you are interested in becoming an on-call firefighter visit