Retained fireman thanked for outstanding service in Blandford
TWENTY eight years of fire-fighting for the Blandford community came to an end for 56-year-old Trevor Haskell last week when he handed in the pager that has governed his life since the 1980s.
Mr Haskell joined the retained force at Blandford fire station in 1986 when he and his wife, Vivienne, came to live in the town.
He was then a mechanic with James & Keats, one of the many companies in the town who allow employees time off to respond to emergency fire calls and other situations.
His service has spanned his later employment with Dorset Commercials and their successor MC Truck and Bus, and most recently at Bryanston School where he is site supervisor.
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"It's going to mean a real change of lifestyle," he said.
"There has hardly been a year when I haven't been called out to something on Christmas Day."
Mr Haskell's final Tuesday night training session at the station last week was attended by Dorset's chief fire officer Darren Gunter, who presented him with his long-service plaque, saying he and his wife could be rightly proud of the contribution and sacrifice they had made to the service of the community.
He recalled Mr Haskell's key role as co-ordinator for one of the major recent fires in the area, the four-day incident at Symphony Candles on Blandford Heights Trading Estate in 2008.
And Mr Haskell himself recalled the day he was called to the blaze at his brother's business NSL on Sunrise Business Park.
But the biggest incident he remembered was the fire at British Drugs House in Poole, in his third year of service when a warehouse of chemicals went up in flames next to the Queen Mary pub.
"There were 45-gallon drums of chemicals flying hundreds of feet in the air, and I finished up directing ambulances, which had come from all over the region, to Poole hospital," he said.
Station officer Steve Garbutt said: "Service with the retained fire brigade takes up a huge part of the life of Trevor and his family, and on behalf of the station we thank him for his efforts, enthusiasm and support, particularly for younger members of the crew. We will be genuinely sad to see him go."