January 4, 2017
Burnham-On-Sea fireman Dick Solomon retires after 43 years of service

A Burnham-On-Sea firefighter retired at the end of 2016 after 43 years of front-line work that made him the region's longest-serving fireman.

Dick Solomon - who was presented with a meritorious medal for his work in November by Devon and Somerset Fire Service Assistant Chief Fire Officer Glenn Askew - retired at midnight on 31st December.

His first call-out was to tackle a blaze at the old St Dunstan's School off the Berrow Road in 1974 and his final fire was a garage blaze in the village of Mark, which we featured here last week.

Dick, 63, joined the service in 1973 and was Somerset's longest serving firefighter, having worked in Burnham-On-Sea, Bridgwater, Yeovil and Taunton.

He told "Leaving is a difficult decision - I've really enjoyed serving in the fire service over the past 43 years but I'm getting older and now's the right time to go."

"Being a fireman has been such a worthwhile role - you get such satisfaction from saving lives and making a difference. It's a job I love and there's never been a day where I feel I don't want to do it any longer."

Glenn Askew, right, said: "I have known Dick for many years - he's one of very few firefighters to have served this long. He has given us 43 years of meritorious service and has a huge amount of knowledge and expertise for which we're grateful."

Burnham Fire Station Officer Ian Hazelton added: "Dick will be hugely missed. He has had a big presence here and has a huge amount of experience."

Dick is the only serving fireman to have served at Burnham-On-Sea's original fire station in Princess Street. The current Princess Theatre was formally the fire station before it was completely revamped.

Having attended thousands of incidents over the years, he has tackled house fires, rescued motorists after crashes, and dealt with many emotional incidents including a 1987 fire in Highbridge. "I carried three children down a ladder to safety, but tragically four children died - it was a very emotional day that will stay with me," he recalls.

He was also among the crews that attended the M5 motorway crash near Taunton five years ago.

Dick Solomon with fellow firefighters at Burnham-On-Sea fire station



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