Fire in their bellies

Retiring firefighters (from left) Mike Meiklejohn (56), Merv Treloar (53) and Stan Prattley (56)....
Retiring firefighters (from left) Mike Meiklejohn (56), Merv Treloar (53) and Stan Prattley (56). Photo by Gregor Richardson.

Three long-serving Mosgiel volunteer firefighters have stepped down from their duties after more than 60 years of combined service in the town.

The trio, Merv Treloar, Stan Prattley and Mike Meiklejohn, have had harrowing experiences dealing with house fires and attending car accidents, but have no regrets about their time spent protecting the public.

Mr Treloar has served more than 31 years as a Mosgiel volunteer, following in the footsteps of his late father, Colin Treloar, a Mosgiel volunteer for 25 years.

The firefighters have greatly valued the brigade's strong sense of comradeship.

''We've become one big family,'' Mr Treloar said. The men were recently awarded honorary life membership of the brigade.

Among the trio, Mr Treloar has served longest in Mosgiel.

His close encounters with death and disaster have made him more conscious of the value of human life, and of friends and family.

''Don't take everything for granted,'' he said.

Mosgiel firefighters now attended many road crashes and it was ''frustrating'' to see needless loss of life.

However, he would ''highly recommend'' becoming a volunteer firefighter.

Mr Meiklejohn served at Mosgiel for about 15 years, and earlier put in many years of service at Alexandra.

Young people were now driving much more high-powered cars than years ago, he said.

''Speed kills,'' Mr Meiklejohn said.

Mr Prattley, who has served at Mosgiel for more than 18 years, said attending fatal road crashes had also had a big influence on him.

''It wakes you up a bit. You drive more cautiously.''


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