Whitchurch firefighter David Johnson thanked for five years with fire service

By Chris Were   |   Reporter   |
Tuesday 16th August 2022 10:00 am
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Station commander Michelle Hicks presenting David Johnson with his five year certificate. ()

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Whitchurch firefighter David Johnson was presented with a certificate thanking him for five years of dedicated service with Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue.

Station commander Michelle Hicks has this week presented Whitchurch Fire Station’s David Johnson with his five-year certificate for loyal and dedicated service as an on-call firefighter.

SC Hicks said: “Thank you for your commitment to supporting our local community when they need us the most.”

David moved to Whitchurch around five years ago from Yorkshire as a result of his wife taking up a consultancy post at a local hospital. Together they bought a house which they spent time working on and fixing up. David spotted the recruitment poster, popped by during a drill night, and had a chat with the watch commander about signing up. David was an ideal candidate, living near the station and being available during the day, as he works on fixing up his house.

He told the Gazette: “It’s about putting something back to the local community and helping the people. At the end of the day, we’re part of the community as being on-call firefighters so it’s good to give back.”

He added: “Obviously in the fire service, safety is a big part of it. A lot of our training is about keeping yourself safe and your crew safe when you’re responding to incidents. But at the same time, you’re putting yourself in the line of danger to preserve life and help the community.”

During his time in the service David has been involved in more than a few animal rescues including, on one occasion, saving a cat which was stuck up a tree.

“In this occasion it was several kittens had gotten up a conifer tree, but when we actually got up to the incident, there was only one left up the tree,” he said. Other animal rescues have included cows in rivers, horses in ditches, and sheep which have been trapped on higher ground during floods.

“We quite often have to call the boat crew in to rescue animals in this area.”

David would like to encourage other residents who live near the Whitchurch station to give a thought to signing up as an on-call firefighter too. He said: “Ross town and Monmouth, our two neighbouring stations have quite big catchment areas so they never struggle to recruit, but Whitchurch has quite a small catchment area so recruitment for us is always quite difficult.”

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