Kilmelford firefighter Donald Smith thanked for 41 years’ service

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Crew Commander Donald Smith retired from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service at Kilmelford Fire Station on January 5, after 41 years excellent service ensuring the safety of his local community.

Donald joined the Kilmelford volunteer unit on January 5, 1981, when, as he said, ‘the station was a shed with a bucket’ for extinguishing fires.

‘Ordered’ to join by his father-in-law, also a volunteer firefighter, Donald thought it was better that if help was needed in the village, he was in a position to help as best as he could.

Donald took an instrumental role in the development of the crew when the shed was replaced with a fully-equipped fire station in 2000.

In recent years Donald has been the Crew Commander of the unit and welcomed the arrival of the Rapid Response Unit fitted with state-of-the-art rescue equipment.

Within the community Donald has taken part (and sometimes won) the firefighters charity quiz which was held quarterly for many years before Covid, and been involved in the annual charity car washes, raising money for both the Firefighters Charity and local charities.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service thanks Donald for his tremendous service and wishes him a long and happy retirement.

‘Well done, Donald,’ said a fellow firefighter Dave Millward on the Kilmelford Community Facebook page, ‘didn’t think you would actually ever go, but fantastic service to the community.

‘Must be about 20 years as a firefighter, 14 years as my dep. and seven years as the “gaffer”. Now you can put your feet up, especially on a Thursday evening, and lose that pager.’

Among the many other message of thanks and good wishes, Kilmelford’s Cuilfail Hotel added: ‘Thank you Donald for all your dedication and support over the years, enjoy your retirement, and we hope the sailing is amazing.’