Fire brigade chief retires after 30-year career

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Martyn Redfearn Martyn Redfearn

A fire chief in West Yorkshire is steaming into retirement after a 30-year career.

Assistant Chief Officer (ACO) Martyn Redfearn, whose roles have included being in charge of fire safety in the Bradford district, now plans to pursue his passion for building model steam engines.

Mr Redfearn said: “I would like to thank everyone in the fire and rescue service who contributes to making West Yorkshire safer. It is a real team effort and everyone plays a part.”

ACO Redfearn is retiring as director of service support, where he has been in charge of the fire service’s human resources and training directorates.

Having started as a firefighter at Dewsbury in 1983, Mr Redfearn has served as leading firefighter at Slaithwaite, in the staff office at the brigade’s Birkenshaw headquarters, and as sub officer at South Elmsall.

From there, he moved into computer and operations training. He was later promoted to station commander at Pudsey before becoming assistant divisional officer, later divisional officer, in Bradford fire safety.

He then moved into personnel at headquarters, where he was promoted to director of human resources, now re-titled director of service support.

Mr Redfearn has attended various big incidents including a fatal building collapse at Thornhill Power Station in Dewsbury in 1986, for which he received a letter of thanks from the Chief Fire Officer for his meritorious conduct. He was in charge of tackling the Waste Care chemical fire in Garforth in 2010, and the Ebor Mills blaze in Haworth, also in 2010.

During his career, he has run the local branch of the Institute of Fire Engineers and has been active in promoting qualifications in the fire and rescue service.

Improving fire safety in schools was a project Mr Redfearn was keen to pursue, and he was involved in the early stages of the school sprinkler campaign, which ultimately resulted in the Government recommending sprinklers be installed in all new school buildings.

Mr Redfearn has also been instrumental in many changes in working practices, such as the introduction of flexible working for firefighters.

He is a volunteer driver at Heatherslaw Light Railway in Northumberland.

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