Firefighter bows out after 35 years of protecting Horsham

Firefighter Kevin Farrant leaving Horsham Fire Service after 36 years. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150324-160245001
Firefighter Kevin Farrant leaving Horsham Fire Service after 36 years. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150324-160245001

The longest-serving firefighter at Horsham Fire Station is retiring after almost 36 years of service to the Horsham district.

Kevin Farrant will retire on Saturday (March 28), having joined green watch in Horsham in 1979.

He explained that the ‘camaraderie’ of the group is what he will miss the most.

He said: “I have had a lot of fun with these guys. They have looked after me in the last few years especially and they have been a great bunch of guys to work with.

“I will miss the camaraderie. There is a great sense of fun to be had when you don’t have to get your professional head on and a lot of banter.

“But as soon as the bell goes, it’s all professional.”

Kevin, 60, from Balcombe, has dealt with a wide variety of incidents from fires and major road accidents to cats stuck in trees over his 35-year stint.

And he added that some aspects of the job have changed since 1979.

He said: “I have seen a lot of changes, mainly in equipment and training.

“The trucks are much better these days and all the equipment is far superior to what it was when I first started, but the job is still the same.

“I think we have learned more about the science of fires and how different fires react in different situations.”

Kevin confessed that the imminent restructuring that will see the long-running watch system replaced makes his departure ‘not as weird as it could have been’.

He added: “Horsham is quite a big fire ground. There is a mix of town and rural and adverse weather conditions so there is a lot of variety.”

His colleagues explained Kevin is an outlier - they said around 80 per cent of firefighters have left the profession before their 60th birthday.

They added that his wife Wendy’s banana cake would be missed.