AFTER keeping the county safe for over three decades, Warwickshire’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer Gary Phillips has decided to hang up his boots.
Mr Phillips, who has also been part of the West Midlands and Suffolk teams, will be retiring later this month following 32 years in the service.
He signed up with the West Midlands brigade in 1984 where he helped create the first ever ‘community’ fire station in Handsworth and played a major role in developing training facilities.
In 2005 he took up up the post of assistant chief fire officer with the Suffolk fire service before moving to Warwickshire to become deputy chief five years later.
In Warwickshire, he led a campaign to install sprinklers in schools, homes and businesses.
Mr Phillips told The Observer: “It has been a privilege and honour to have worked in the fire service for 32 years.
“To be entrusted with the responsibility to provide effective safety to thousands of people is truly humbling and I will always remain proud of the unique service we deliver to the people of Warwickshire and beyond.
“Although I am sad to be retiring from the job I love, I am excited about what the new chapter in my life will bring.
“I am sure whenever I see a fire engine around the towns and villages of Warwickshire the sense of pride and respect for what our firefighters do will bring a lump to my throat.”
Chief Executive for Warwickshire County Council, Jim Graham said thanked Mr Phillips for his dedicated service.
He added: “Gary has been an exceptional deputy chief fire officer whose hard work and commitment has made Warwickshire a safer place to live, work and visit.”