A RUTHIN man who retired after 33 years service as a retained fireman, is already missing the comradeship of the service.

Eryl Parry of Lon-Menlli, Ruthin left the Brigade at the end of last year, said: "We had a good bunch of lads at the station, and worked and trained together and also had a lot of fun together. Together we used to do a lot to raise money for charity.

"I always had an adrenaline rush when we were called out on a shout, and I'll miss that and the comradeship we all had.

"But there was another side to it, there were occasions when I saw very unpleasant sights.

"When I joined the fire brigade in 1984 I worked as a mechanic with the county council. I subsequently worked in the construction industry. I was asked to join the fire service by a work mate who was a retained fireman.

"We used to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and had to live three or four minutes from the fire station. The commitment meant I missed days out with my family as I couldn't move far away from my home. Even so my family was supportive of me being a retained fireman.

"These days the service has more flexible arrangements over the times it calls people out.

"Now I've retired I have a lot more freedom and can go out wherever I want and whenever I want

Mr Parry, who is married with two children, added: "I've seen many changes during my time with the brigade, for the first few years we didn't have women firefighters, and there have been many changes and improvements in the equipment.

"I remember the floods of 2000 in Ruthin, than I had to work 24 hours non stop and then go to my normal job without having any sleep. after the floods the station gained a specialist water unit.

He was a leading firefighter and crew manager at Ruthin fire station.

He added: "When I now see the fire engine going out I feel quite nostalgic and wonder where they are going."