Fire chief retires after 30 years

Martyn Redfearn
Martyn Redfearn

A FIRE chief in West Yorkshire, whose roles have included being in charge at South Elmsall, has announced his retirement after three decades of service.

Assistant Chief Officer (ACO) Martyn Redfearn is retiring as director of service support, where he has been in charge of the fire service’s human resources and training directorates.

Mr Redfearn, who was sub officer at South Elmsall, said: “I would like to thank everyone in the fire and rescue service who contributes to making West Yorkshire safer. It is a real team effort and everyone plays a part.”

Having started as a firefighter at Dewsbury in 1983, Mr Redfearn has served as a leading firefighter at Slathwaite, in the staff office at brigade’s Birkenshaw headquarters as well as working at South Elmsall.

He then moved into computer and operations training and was later promoted to station commander at Pudsey before becoming assistant divisional officer, later divisional officer, in Bradford fire safety.

From there, he moved into personnel at headquarters, where he was eventually promoted to director of human resources, now re-titled director of service support.

Mr Redfearn has attended various big incidents including a fatal building collapse at Thornhill Power Station in Dewsbury in 1986, for which he received a letter of thanks from the Chief Fire Officer for his meritorious conduct. He was in charge of tackling the Waste Care chemical fire in Garforth in 2010, and the Ebor Mills blaze in Haworth, also in 2010.

During his career, he has run the local branch of the Institute of Fire Engineers and has been active in promoting qualifications in the fire and rescue service.

Mr Redfearn has also been instrumental in many changes in working practices, such as the introduction of flexible working for firefighters.