Rugby firefighter retires after 43 years of dedication

Deputy chief fire officer Rob Moyney (right) hands Stephen Manning with a commemorative plaque after 43 years as a firefighter NNL-170629-151505001
Deputy chief fire officer Rob Moyney (right) hands Stephen Manning with a commemorative plaque after 43 years as a firefighter NNL-170629-151505001

Possibly the longest-serving firefighter in the county based in Rugby is retiring after 43 years of putting out flames and helping people.

Stephen Manning joined the fire service aged 20 and retires after a dedicated career serving his community.

Firefighters at Rugby Fire Station wish Stephen Manning (second from left) a happy retirement. NNL-170629-151602001

Firefighters at Rugby Fire Station wish Stephen Manning (second from left) a happy retirement. NNL-170629-151602001

The 64-year-old grandfather has spent the last 12 years at Rugby Fire Station, having semi-retired after 31 years in Nuneaton, and completed his last shift on Saturday.

“The station is a big family and the thing I will miss the most is the camaraderie with the guys,” Stephen said.

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service deputy chief fire officer Rob Moyney presented Stephen with a commorative plaque to mark his achievement.

Rob and Rugby Fire Station crew commander Adrian Eyden-Wood paid tribute to his incredible service.

“Forty-three years as a firefighter is a fantastic achievement and we’re really proud of him and we wish him well in his retirement,” Rob said.

Adrain added: “He’s the longest serving firefighter we can think of. He’s dedicated his life to the fire service, a completely selfless act, and you can’t ask anymore of anyone.”

Stephen said the most memorable incident he has been involved in was the train crash in Nuneaton in 1974 which killed six people. But what he remembers most is pulling a girl out of the wreckage.

When asked about the Grenfell Tower fire, Stephen said he could not imagine what the firefighters went through but said their training would just kick in and they would get on with it.

Stephen added that he was sad to be leaving, saying joining the fire service was the best thing he ever did.