fireman Dick Solomon retires after 43 years of service
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.
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.
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.
63, joined the service in 1973 and was Somerset's longest serving
firefighter, having worked in Burnham-On-Sea, Bridgwater, Yeovil
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "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."
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
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."
Fire Station Officer Ian Hazelton added: "Dick will be hugely
missed. He has had a big presence here and has a huge amount of
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.
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.
was also among the crews that attended the M5 motorway crash near
Taunton five years ago.
Solomon with fellow firefighters at Burnham-On-Sea fire station