Wargrave firefigher Tony Annetts retires after 41 yearsBy Karen Jordan
September 19, 2012
The longest-serving firefighter in the county has hung up his uniform for the last time after 41 years.
Tony Annetts, 60, has decided to call it a day and his retirement ends his family’s 65-year-run of unbroken service.
Mr Annetts attended a number of unusual call-outs as watch manager and retained firefighter at Wargrave fire station in Victoria Road, including the fire at Windsor Castle in 1992 and an anthrax scare at the BBC in Caversham in 2001. As one of the first firefighters on scene at the castle, Mr Annetts helped show the Queen and Prince Philip around the fire-ravaged site.
On a different occasion, he rescued a six-year-old boy who had fallen 50 feet down a disused well.
Mr Annetts, of Highfield Park, Wargrave, said: “I enjoy the camaraderie with the lads and you get a buzz out of helping people. But it’s time for me to retire – 41 years is long enough.”
Mr Annetts added: “My father loved being in the brigade so I thought I would give it a go and I have been there ever since.
“My stepfather, three brothers and nephew all started at Wargrave. I am the last one.”
Mr Annetts, who is married to Heather and has three children and one step-daughter, said he might turn his hand to decorating.
His daughter Natalie Jordan, 32, said: “I’m really proud of my family’s fire service history, especially my dad’s 41 years.
“He put his heart and soul into his career but I’m relieved he’s no longer risking his life to save others and that he can now enjoy his retirement.” Station manager Adam Stevens, the senior operational manager overseeing Wargrave fire station, said: “Tony has served both his local community and the wider community of Berkshire for more than four decades.
“This is a notable achievement when you consider that most firefighters serve for 30 years.
“He has nurtured countless young firefighters during the early part of their careers and his character, coupled with his wealth of experience, has provided his colleagues at Wargrave with both entertainment and operational advice. Tony has made a very valuable contribution to Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and he will be missed.”