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Bradford photographer for fire service retires after 34 years
An award-winning West Yorkshire Fire Service photographer is retiring after 34 years.
The brigade’s visual services manager Brian Saville, of Bradford, has captured some of the county’s largest fires on film during his career.
They have included the Valley Parade fire disaster of 1985, and Allied Colloids chemical plant blaze in Bradford in 1992, along with a string of firebomb attacks carried out by Mohammed Khalid, of Keighley , in 1995 and 1996.
Mr Saville joined the service in 1978 as a technician. He was promoted to head the Visual Services department in 1985.
Since then, he has completed a number of photography and video courses, including a high-profile secondment to the Home Office Forensic Science Laboratory, where he produced training materials which have been used nationally for fire investigation.
Mr Saville has been honoured as the National Fire Service Photographer of the Year, been the British Institute of Professional Photography regional winner three times, and also won the Unison National Photography Awards, the Child Poverty Action Group Award, Fire and Rescue Video Award, Fuji Times Off-Beat Photographer of the Year and a Konika Photography Award.
He was presented with a commendation by Bradford’s most senior judge, the former Recorder of Bradford Stephen Gullick, for the part he played in Operation Wheel, the investigation into the Bradford riots, in July 2001.
He also received a Chief Fire Officer’s Letter of Appreciation following his work at an incident in which eight people died in a house fire in Birkby, Huddersfield.
Mr Saville has also been responsible for the design and development of new equipment and technology, such as the Search and View Camera System which enables firefighters to search in confined spaces.
He has also designed a CCTV system for the new Incident Control Unit and been instrumental in developing the brigade’s Silent Witness cameras attached to all fire engines.
In his retirement he hopes to pursue his passion for documentary photography and video.
Mr Saville said: “I have flown in helicopters, driven a tank, and met and worked with some talented people, including a few famous ones. Every day has been a challenge and I have enjoyed every second of it.”