THE Hereford and Worcester Chief Fire Officer has paid tribute to Kevin Harris who has celebrated 50 years with the service.
The praise for Kevin Harris was led by Jon Pryce who congratulated him and said his ‘enthusiasm and hard work made him a credit to the service’.
Kevin, who is originally from Malvern, joined Worcester City and County Fire Brigade as ‘retained firefighter number 994’ on February 20, 1973.
He was based at Malvern Fire Station.
On August 8, 1974, he joined the newly-formed Hereford and Worcester Fire Brigade as a wholetime firefighter and got married in the same week.
He attended training school at A1 Central in Birmingham for 14 weeks before taking up his first post at Bromsgrove Fire Station.
Kevin was promoted to leading firefighter on January 18, 1980, and he later transferred to Droitwich in 1995.
Whilst at Droitwich Kevin received the Outstanding Service Medal in 1997 for saving a young girl’s life following a horrific traffic accident whilst he was off-duty.
Aside from firefighting, Kevin has represented HWFRS in many sports locally and nationally, including track and field, football and badminton, and has been on the HWFRS governing sports council since 1974.
More recently Kevin has been involved with the England Fire and Rescue Service football management section and is pleased to have introduced several players from HWFRS to play for England at home and abroad.
As a qualified referee, Kevin has refereed several fire service cup finals and international games and officiated at the World Firefighter Games in Sheffield.
Kevin is the secretary for the service’s mutual assurance fund and is a champion for service for Worcestershire prostate cancer awareness sessions.
The pinnacle of Kevin’s career was in November 2013 when he represented HWFRS at the Cenotaph in London at the Remembrance Parade.
Kevin retired from operational duties after 42 years and 6 months on July 27, 2015, and has continued in the service as an Urban Search and Rescue Technician.
He has now completed 50 years of serving the communities of HWFRS and during this time he has worked under nine Chief Fire Officers (CFO).