Fire Chief Retires

Long-serving firefighter Ian Capewell has retired from the Plimmerton Volunteer Fire Brigade after twenty seven years service.

Mr Capewell, officer in charge of the brigade for the last seven years, says that the growing administrative demands made by Fire Service management on volunteer brigades had made large demands on his time in recent years. "I have to run my business, and the time commitment just became unsustainable" he said. "It’s hard work fighting for the money the brigade needs to operate, and it wasn’t getting any easier. I guess anyone involved in running a school or hospital has a pretty good idea what its like".

The Plimmerton brigade is in theory fully funded by the "Fire Service Levy" taken from insurance policies. For a number of years, however, maintenance on the building and equipment has been deferred.

"It seems to me that volunteer brigades are being forced back into being charities, going to their communities with cap in hand. I’m sure the guys will handle this as well as it can be handled, but I’ve had enough. I wish the brigade, and especially the new chief, the best of luck" he says.

The brigade has elected deputy Mike Smith as its new Chief Fire Officer.