Fire engine was on standby at wedding

OPEN DAY: Kirton retained firefighters (from left) back ' Phil McAlistair. Sean Band, watch manager Eddie Affection, Nick Morris, Eric Johnson; front ' Alex Sneath and Michael Chambers. Photo: SG021013-224NG
OPEN DAY: Kirton retained firefighters (from left) back ' Phil McAlistair. Sean Band, watch manager Eddie Affection, Nick Morris, Eric Johnson; front ' Alex Sneath and Michael Chambers. Photo: SG021013-224NG

Retained firefighters had an easy solution when one of them got married and all the lads wanted to go to the wedding reception – they took the fire engine with them so they could still be on call.

The 13-strong team are celebrating the 25th birthday of the “new” fire station in Station Road, Kirton, on Saturday with a funfair and other open day attractions from 10am to 4pm.

Watch manager Eddie Affection said: “The fire station has been here for so long now people will have to stop calling it ‘new’.”

Tree surgeon Eddie (46) is part of the retained service and has his own garden business, Weeds to Trees, which he reckons is more dangerous than fighting the most ferocious of fires.

He was on the first fire engine to reach the notorious blaze at the LTD Tyre Depot on the A16 at Kirton in 2003, which saw 10,000 tyres go up in smoke, villagers evacuated from their homes because of toxic fumes and the road closed for several days.

Eddie says the retained men do all the same training that the regulars do – and that, together with back-up from colleagues and top-notch kit on the fire appliances, has kept him safe.

He said: “I have had 23 years in the fire service and I have never been scared but I have been scared once or twice up trees.”

Eddie has been injury free fighting fires, but wasn’t so lucky up a tree when he got hit on the foot by a three-quarters of a tonne weight which saw him lose a toe and break 27 bones.

Camaraderie at Kirton is great.

Eddie said: “One of my lads, Martin Taylor, got married a fortnight ago and he had his wedding reception at The Poachers at Swineshead and we took the fire engine with us so we could maintain cover and all of us go to the wedding.”