Retained Kirriemuir fire fighter Andy Stewart has said a fond farewell to his shift mates after clocking up 25 years with the fire and rescue service.
Andy (55) attended his last Tuesday evening drill where he was presented with a long service certificate by station manager Graeme Nicoll.
Andy, an electrician to trade, followed in his brother Chic’s footsteps by joining the service.
Sadly Chic, who was watch manager at Kirrie, died two years ago.
Andy said: “I heard about the service through my brother and served alongside him. It was definitely a worthwhile thing to do.
“I have enjoyed it and will miss it. There is a great team spirit with the crews of the station; I will miss the laughter and craic with them on drill night.”
As a retained fire fighter, Andy was on call 365 days a year and was often called away from his work, and Christmas lunches with his family.
He continued: “I have had to leave my Christmas lunch a couple of times as the pager has gone off just as we were about to sit down. My wife Verna has also had to go to get the car started if the pager has gone off when I have been in the shower.”
Now employed with Angus Council as a clerk of works, he served as a fire fighter while working as a self-employed electrical contractor, as a maintenance electrician at Noranside Prison and with Dundee Council.
Andy explained the role of the fire fighter has changed over the years, with more community and home safety work now involved.
During his quarter of a century, he covered incidents in Kirriemuir, including the fire at the former Southmuir Primary School, as well as those in the local glens, along towards Alyth and down to Forfar and the A90.
He continued: “We were regular attendees in Forfar and went as far as Glen Esk. We also went to Bridge of Earn to help with flooding a few Christmases back. We could end up pretty much anywhere depending on the size and scale of the incident.”
Andy also supported local community events including the Scottish Transport Extravaganza at Glamis and the community days at Davidson Park.
He will mark his retirement from the service with a function in the Kirriemuir Thistle Social Club on Saturday, April 18 where he will be presented with gifts from colleagues and the organisation.
He is looking forward to spending more time with his wife Verna, daughter Nicola, son Steven and 10-month-old grand-daughter Lucy, as well as getting more involved with Kirrie Thistle Junior Football Club.