End of an era for Rural Fire Service
AFTER devoting 32 years to the Rural Fire Service, Grant Anderson has decided to hang up the helmet.
Mr Anderson said he was proud to be able to have trained many RFS volunteers to help protect their communities from the threat of fire.
"Working with the volunteers will be a big thing I'll miss, and without them the RFS doesn't function," he said.
"I'm proud to be able to pass on my knowledge and be able to train the volunteers. When I started there wasn't much training, but the RFS has evolved so much over the last 30 years, it's now a big moving machine.
"It was a pleasure working with everyone and an honour to meet so many volunteers across Australia, it was an honour to be a part of it."
In 2006, Mr Anderson was presented with the Australian Fire Service Medal, for service above and beyond the call of duty.
"It was quite an honour to me, it's one of the biggest awards you can get in the RFS, so that was very special," he said.
Mr Anderson will still volunteer for the Lanitza/Kungala Rural Fire Brigade, where he is a life member.
Mr Anderson's wife Margaret, who also volunteers for the catering unit, will be taking a step back to enjoy her husband's retirement.
"It's a bit difficult when you're travelling around, but I've been proud to support my husband and all the other volunteers for the past 15 or so years," she said.
Mrs Anderson said when the couple first moved to the area in the early 1980s, volunteering for the RFS was a great way to meet people.
"The friendships we made our friendships we've still got today," she said.
"I would encourage people to get involved, I think it's a great way to meet people and just do something for your community, it's a great thing to be involved in."
RFS Clarence Valley district manager Stuart Watts said Mr Anderson is a very well respected member of the organisation.
"Grant has worked hard to train our members to a high level of expertise and reinforcing safety," he said.
"He is a wealth of knowledge and practical in his approach to training and problem solving, with a great demeanour and got along with a lot of people.
"It will be hard to replace him, but we wish him all the best. He has put in the hard yards, and now it's time to relax."