Firefighter bids a fond farewell

Brian Walsingham with watch manager Bryan Lynch EMN-160706-100517001
Brian Walsingham with watch manager Bryan Lynch EMN-160706-100517001
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Corby Glen Fire Station has bid a fond farewell to the county’s longest serving on-call firefighter who has served for more than 50 years.

Now aged 68 and a married father of two, Brian Walsingham has done more than most for his community. As well as being the village’s local farmer, carpenter and even funeral director, he has dedicated more than 50 years of his life to keeping residents safe.

Brian signed up to be an on-call firefighter in 1965 and never looked back. Ten years ago he trained to become a first responder.

Over the years, he’s responded to thousands of emergency calls, attending serious incidents such as the Stoke Rochford Hall fire in 2005, and in the New Year’s Honours List in 2015, he was awarded a British Empire Medal for his faithful service.

But what has kept Brian going for all these years?

“I’ll admit that initially I did it for the money - times were hard back then and we needed the extra cash – but it soon became about much more than that,” he said.

“I felt it was my duty to be there for the local community. In small villages like Corby Glen we all know each other, and to think that there was an accident and I wasn’t there to help would just be unbearable.

“Over the years the crew has become my extended family and I know I’ll miss being a part of it, but it’s time for me to move on now and for the next generation to step up.”

The crew is now looking for someone to fill Brian’s shoes.

Watch commander support Kyle Campbell said: “It’s sad to see Brian leave us after all these years but we are so thankful for his support and exemplary service.

“It’s time for him to enjoy his retirement, but Corby Glen still needs it’s on-call firefighters, and that’s why we’re holding a special recruitment event on Saturday, June 11, from 11am until 3pm.”

If you’re not able to go but want to find out more, pop into the station on a Tuesday night between 7pm and 9.30pm for an informal chat or visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lfr