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Thetford fireman to retire after 43 years

Fireman Alan Prior who will retire at the end of this month (1949810)
Fireman Alan Prior who will retire at the end of this month (1949810)

A Thetford firefighter who has been saving lives for more than 40 years is to retire.

Alan Prior, 69, who is a watch manager at Thetford Fire Station, said his career in the fire service started back in 1975.

He said: “I was convinced to go up to the fire station by friends when I worked for Camvac, they said I should join so I signed up and after a weekend training session it went from there.”

Alan said the excitement of the job and helping people were the things that attracted him to it. He said: “It makes life a bit different being a retained firefighter; on a day to day basis you never know what you are going out to.”

He also praised his wife, Christine, as over the years he said it had not been easy for her to be the wife of a firefighter.

Alan said: “In the job it helps to have an understanding partner, because you never know when the alert is coming, you could be sitting down to dinner or out somewhere and if it comes you have to go.”

Leigh, Alan’s son, is also a firefighter in King’s Lynn and Alan said he and all the new generation of crews were much better prepared for the job than when he started.

Alan said: “The training of the crews and the equipment has definitely improved and continues to do so, which can only benefit the crews in doing their jobs to save lives.”

He plans to spend time on his passion for motorcycles in his retirement, which starts on his 70th birthday on May 25, and doing more things with his wife, their five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He said: “I told Christine I would retire when I got to 60, then it went up to 65 and now at 70 I feel it is the right time.

“All my time working as a firefighter I have had great crews, they are a great bunch of guys and a terrific team.”


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