On-call Watch Commander retires after 42 years’ service

David Kilner Retirement presentation

On-call Watch Commander David Kilner has retired after 42 years with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue (CFRS).

A retirement presentation was held at Sawtry Fire Station, were he was presented with a figurine by Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Rick Hylton.

Reflecting on his longstanding career, which started in 1976, David commented on his most poignant memories:

“I have many great memories of working for CFRS one has to be when the crew attended our wedding as the Guard of Honour. I have also been fortunate to have represented CFRS at the Cenotaph. 

“I was proud to be promoted to Watch Commander and was the youngest in CFRS at that time, and over the years I’ve seen many changes. Not least the personal protective equipment which has improved vastly! When I first joined I was issued a wool double breasted tunic and yellow plastic leggings along with rubber wellies.”

Speaking of his retirement, David said:

“There are so many people I would like to thank. I must start with my wife and boys, who without their support I could not have given so much on-call cover for CFRS. I’d like to say sorry for all the days out that got cancelled because I got called out! Thanks must also go to my Dad and Mum as they got me started!

“My Dad came home from drill on evening and said: “David, would you like join Sawtry fire service as we are really short of fire fighters?”, and that’s where it all began.

“Thanks to my main employers who have supported me over the years with time off for training and the fact that I may not have made it into work on-time or sometimes, not at all.

“Thanks to all of the firefighters that have served at Sawtry Fire Station over the years, need a huge thank you for making my job successful!”

Looking to the future, David is planning more travels with his family, and is looking to utilise his fire service skills to help with Blood Bikers and becoming a motorsport track marshal, as he is a keen motorcyclist.

Station Commander Sean Hedger, commented:

“I would like to thank David for his dedication and commitment to CFRS over the past 42 years. Throughout his long career, David has attended a wide variety of incidents and helped a lot of people during their time of need. He will be missed and I would like to wish him and his family all the best for the future.”