50-year firefighter retiring — he says

Dunedin City Fire Station Senior Firefighter Bevan Moreton celebrated his 50th year as a career...
Dunedin City Fire Station Senior Firefighter Bevan Moreton celebrated his 50th year as a career fireman in Dunedin yesterday. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
When Senior Firefighter Bevan Moreton announced he finally planned to retire within the next year, his crew-mates chuckled and accused him of saying the same thing five years ago, and 10 years ago.

The 67-year-old celebrated his 50th year as a career firefighter at Dunedin City Fire Station yesterday, and is showing no sign of slowing down just yet.

Senior Station Officer Justin Wafer said he believed Mr Moreton was the longest-serving "career" fireman in Dunedin, and it was unlikely anyone would beat the record he had set.

"To have the accomplishment of 50 years as a career firefighter, this is the first time that anyone in the Dunedin brigade has achieved this without having done some volunteer service.

"And it’s probably the last time that this will happen.

"It’s very rare to stay in a job for 50 years, let alone the physical nature of the work that a firefighter does."

Mr Moreton said he had continued to pass his physical competency tests every two years, but it was not as easy for him as it used to be.

He said he had become a wily old fox and his experience on the job had allowed him to continue well past retirement age.

"We went to an alarm call one day and one of the younger guys said to me, ‘you’re a bit slow getting up the stairs’, as we were headed to the third floor of a building.

"I just said to him, ‘yeah, but when we get there, we’ve still got to be able to do something. It’s not a race to the top of the stairs’.

"A lot of it’s knowing when you need to be in a hurry and just pacing yourself through the process."

He said he had been fortunate not to have received any major injuries in the line of duty, which had helped him stay in the job so long.

The station and the crew were like a second home and family to him.

"The thing is, we rely on one another so much.

"When we go to an incident, you’re relying on the rest of the crew to look after you. If something was to happen, they’re the only ones that are going to get you out of it.

"It will leave an empty spot in me when I do go."

Despite his colleagues’ scepticism, Mr Moreton said he was "almost sure" to be retired within the next six months.

Comments

I don't know you Bevan but a big Thank you for your service to the NZ Fire service and Dunedin, Much respect

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