TWO long-serving staff members have left the On-Call Crew at Newtown Fire Station.

Officer in Charge David Gardner is retiring after 34 years of serving the community of Newtown.

Watch manager Gardner, ‘Didsy’ as he’s popularly known, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as an on-call firefighter, it has been a pleasure to serve our community for the past 34 years. The fire service has been a massive part of my life and I have met some wonderful people and made lifelong friends whom I’ve learnt from and trust.”

Also leaving the on-call crew is Dave Latham, who is hanging up his alerter, after 15 years, to focus on his full-time role in the fire service as a station manager.

Newtown on-call crews will now be led by Watch Manager Rhys Mullan, who has been part of the crew for the last eight years and is also a wholetime member of staff in Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Community Risk Reduction Department.

“A combined 49 years of service is certainly a lot of experience to lose, but we’ve got a great team on the station who have learned so much from these guys,” said Rhys.

“We’ll continue to benefit from Dave’s experience as he is now responding to a wider range of incidents as a station manager.

“Didsy is very much a pillar of the local community and I’m sure we’ll continue to see plenty of him in his role as a senior officer with St John Ambulance, amongst others.”

n These departures mean there are on-call firefighter vacancies to fill at Newtown if you are enthusiastic about serving your local community, are active and live or work within 10 minutes of the station. For further information contact Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service on 01267 226832 or call into Newtown Station for more information.