Longest Serving Firefighter Retires After 47 Years

After over 47 years serving the community of Wilton, the longest serving firefighter in Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has hung up his tunic for the final time. Watch Manager Jim Twomey attended his final drill night at Wilton fire station last night (24th March). 

Jim joined the then Wiltshire Fire Brigade as an on-call firefighter in December 1973 and has been officer in charge at the station since 1986. As a self-employed taxi driver, he has juggled his business with fire calls, training and running the station. 

In 2017, Jim’s daughter Charlotte joined the crew at Wilton, making them the first father-daughter pairing at any station in Dorset & Wiltshire. 

Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said: “Remaining in any role for over 47 years is an impressive commitment, but on-call firefighters and their families make a huge commitment to their communities. Call outs can mean missing meals, family occasions and other events. I want to say thank you to Jim and his family, on behalf of the residents of Wilton, and across our wider Service area, for his dedication to keeping them safe. Everyone at Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service wishes Jim a long and happy retirement – without the sound of a pager!” 

Jim said: “I originally joined up as my brother was a firefighter, and I encouraged my daughter Charlotte too. I have really enjoyed my time as an on-call firefighter and though I am looking forward to retirement, I will be sad to say goodbye to the team at Wilton. I have attended some memorable incidents over the years including the Salisbury Maltings fire and the Salisbury and Amesbury Novichok incidents, but my biggest takeaway from my time in the fire service will be working with the most fantastic teams of people possible.

 Assistant Chief Fire Officer Byron Standen joined Jim and the crew at Wilton at a socially distanced presentation last night. 

 Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue is always looking for new on-call firefighters at fire stations across Dorset and Wiltshire. If you think you have what is takes to help and support your community, as Jim has done, have a look on their website for more information – www.dwfire.org.uk  

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