Thursday, 21 November 2013

From Fireworks To Firefighting - 30 Years For Kimbolton Commander

A former military man who works for a major fireworks company has celebrated 30 years as an on-call firefighter.

Kimbolton resident Russell Gooderham was recognised for his 30 years of dedication to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service with a small presentation at his station.

During his time so far with the Service, Russell has climbed the ranks to watch commander level and now leads a crew of enthusiastic on-call firefighters in Kimbolton.

He became a firefighter after he was involved in a serious fire on a friend's farm and after leaving the army he applied and started his service in 1983.

There have been many changes over the years, from kit to firefighting appliances, but Russell said it is the operational element of the job that still attracts him.

He said: "Being an on-call firefighter means you never know what will be happening in the next few minutes. When the alerter sounds you are still in the dark as to the job that awaits you until you get to the station.

"There have been many memorable incidents I've attended but one that comes to mind is the RAF Brampton fire in the early 1980s. You always remember the life-changing situations you are called on to deal with but it is with great pride that you know you have helped someone through a very traumatic event.

"As an on-call firefighter, you also need to have a very understanding family and I am extremely lucky to have that, my wife is a midwife at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and she appreciates the nature of the job that we undertake as on-call firefighters."

Russell's main employment is with Kimbolton Fireworks and he said being in the explosives industry helps him with his understanding of potentially dangerous circumstances, but his employer also benefits as he takes the knowledge gained at the fire service to his workplace.

The proudest moment of Russell's career was when he represented the Service at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday.

Group Commander Dave Richardson added: "It has been a pleasure working with Russell. He has always striving to improve Kimbolton Fire Station and the opportunities for his crew. CFRS looks forward to Russell remaining at the helm in Kimbolton for many years to come."