Firefighters ‘salt of the earth’ says retiring Dave

MCHG  12-812  Station Commander Dave Stokes retires from Hemel Hempstead Fire Station.
MCHG 12-812 Station Commander Dave Stokes retires from Hemel Hempstead Fire Station.

Fire station commander Dave Stokes was given an emotional send-off when he retired after 40 years.

The 56-year-old was taken on a tour of Hemel Hempstead on a vintage fire engine before making his way along a long line of firefighters and station staff to say goodbye. In what has become a Herts Fire and Rescue tradition, the bagpipes were played by a former firefighter.

Dave told the group: “People who work in the fire service are the salt of the earth. They are the sort of people you can ring up at three in the morning and they come and help you out.

“Never lose sight of that reason why you joined the fire service. I am proud of you all.”

Deputy chief fire officer John Mills said: “Operationally he is one of the best officers we’ve got – he will leave a big gap.”