A celebration to mark a crew commander’s 40 years in the fire service turned into a big event after members of his watch, former work colleagues and family members turned out en masse to mark the special milestone.
Roger Nunn, an on-call firefighter in Chatteris, turned up to drill night only to find out the station had planned a surprise presentation to mark his 40th year with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Group Commander Gary Mitchley, head of on-call at CFRS, presented Roger with a certificate and glass flame award to mark the event.
Roger said the event had been a total surprise. “I came into work for drill night and went into the lecture room and all the tables were pushed back and I was telling everyone we needed to push them back but it was when my youngest granddaughter turned up and sat on my knee I knew something was up,” he said.
Roger joined CFRS aged 20 whilst working for a carpentry and building firm. He now fits on-call in around his day job as the self-employed owner of a firm that supplies and fits kitchens and bathrooms.
“For me, being in the fire service has always been about the camaraderie and the laugh we have as a watch as well as being able to serve the community,” he said.
Roger’s memories from the past 40 years include some of the bigger jobs he has attended including his first big fire at RAF Brampton in which an office block burnt down and a plane crash in Benwick when an American war plane came down, scattering Uranium-tipped bullets over a field.
“We’ve got a really solid crew in Chatteris. We all stand by each other and help each other out so people tend to stay. Most of us are over 40 and have been here a while,” he said.
After presenting Roger, who turned 60 at the start of the year, with his flame award GC Mitchley said: “It is a significant achievement to serve as an operational member of CFRS for 40 years and it should not be underestimated the commitment Roger has given to Chatteris Fire Station, the community of Chatteris and Cambridgeshire.
“I have known and had the pleasure to work with Roger for 15 years and he is always professional, hard-working and a safe pair of hands at incidents.”
Also present at the presentation were Area Commander Maurice Moore and Station Commanders Karl Bowden and Carl Pardon, along with former work colleagues from the station and Roger’s family, with his wife, Caroline, their children Laura and Barry, son in law Kevin, and granddaughters, Sydney, 14; Ruby, 11; and Lacey, 6.
On-call firefighters are trained professionals who respond to emergencies in their communities alongside their day-to-day lives. To find out more about becoming an on-call firefighter in Cambridgeshire search “Cambs on-call” online.