On-call Watch Commander retires after almost 40 years

On-call Watch Commander Mike Fishpoole (60) has retired after almost 40 years with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue (CFRS).

Mike joined CFRS in 1980 shortly after moving to Cottenham, and has been an on-call firefighter ever since.

A retirement presentation was held at Cottenham Fire Station, were he was presented with a figurine by Chief Fire Officer, Chris Strickland.

Reflecting on his longstanding career, Mike commented on his most poignant memories,

“The very first incident I attended was a fire in an ammunition store at Oakington Barracks and was a daunting first incident, but it went well and, as I remember, we put out the fire and no one was hurt. It was very different to my last ever incident, a call to rescue a cat stuck in a tree!

“One call that really stands out to me was an incident that happened on a Good Friday about 20 years ago. We were called to a trench collapse that had completely buried a young man. I remember working alongside a Cambridge crew for over an hour before the man was brought out, alive and kicking. This one incident makes 40 years in the fire service well worth the effort!”

Speaking of the best part about his role, Mike said:

“I’ve had an amazing career in the Fire Service. I’ve worked with some great people during my 37 years. Cottenham has always been a busy station and has a great atmosphere, and I’m proud to have worked for the community in Cottenham.”

Speaking of his retirement, Mike said:

“I’d like to thank my colleagues for all their support over the years. From colleagues at Cottenham to the many Station Commanders that have come and gone over the years, right through to the highest level, the support has been superb.

“A big thank you to Cottenham Village College, where I’ve worked for 15 years as a network manager, for allowing me to respond during the day."

“None of it would have been possible without the support of my family, particularly my wife Karen, who has supported me and endured all of the sacrifices that come with the job.”

Mike is also very proud that his son Craig has followed in his footsteps as he is also a firefighter at the start of what is, hopefully, a long and fulfilling career.

Mike recently moved to Welney, where following on from his retirement he’ll be enjoying more free time, walking his dogs and getting on with life, and finally, after 40 years, get Monday nights off!

Commenting on Mike’s retirement, Station Commander David Lynch said:

“Mike is a highly regarded and well respected watch commander whose operational ability on the incident ground is second to none.

“Mike has dedicated so many years to the communities he has served as a firefighter and watch commander in Cottenham. We thank him for his incredible commitment and wish him all the best in his retirement from CFRS. He will be very missed in the Service.”