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Station Commander celebrates 40 years of service to West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service

A firefighter is marking an incredible 40 years’ service to West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.

The bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton in 1984 and the Shoreham Airshow crash in August 2015 are just two of the major incidents that Roy Barraclough has attended.

And Roy – who is Station Commander for Worthing, Steyning and Lancing fire stations – says that retirement is still a little way off!

Roy is one of the longest-serving members of WSFRS and started his career in 1979.

He has become a well-known figure in the Worthing community.

He has worked at a number of stations around the county, including nine years at Worthing.

He followed in the footsteps of his father, Bill Barraclough, who served as a firefighter at Shoreham Fire Station from the end of the Second World War, meaning there has been a Barraclough on duty at WSFRS for the past 74 years.

He initially wanted to join the police like is grandfather, but as they were not recruiting at the time, the young Roy looked to the fire brigade, as it was known then, instead. He completed his training at Reigate before taking up a post in West Sussex in 1979.

Roy said: “A Barraclough has been part of WSFRS since the end of the Second World War, which gives me a lot of pride. My grandfather also served as a police officer in London before that, so clearly there is something in the blood. It’s been an amazing experience working for the West Sussex community.

“I still love coming to work every single day, and I have no immediate plans to leave. The running joke in the service has been that I forgot to retire. That day just hasn’t arrived for me yet, I am still incredibly passionate about serving the community as the day I joined.

“I wanted to make a difference and feel that I still do. Over the years the range of incidents we get called to has definitely grown, and we help more people now than ever before. I wouldn’t change it for the world, and to anyone who may be thinking of joining, I can tell you it is a very rewarding career.”

Roy is also involved with a lot of charity work. He has travelled around the world to provide aid and new equipment to fire services. This autumn he was part of a team who drove more than 1,500 miles to Macedonia to deliver a fire engine and train the local crews.

Chief Fire Officer, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, said: “Having served the communities of West Sussex for four decades, Roy is a true asset to West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. His knowledge and expertise from having attended countless emergency incidents has proven invaluable over the years.

“A true professional, Roy’s love for the job he does is plain to see, he is passionate about the communities he serves and he has worked tirelessly over the years to ensure the fire and rescue service remains at the heart of those communities and ready to respond when they are needed most.

“He has gone above and beyond the call of duty during his 40 years of service working for the fire and rescue service and in the voluntary and charity work he undertakes.

“I am incredibly proud to serve alongside Roy, and I would like to thank him for making the communities he serves a much safer place to live and work.”