Goodbye, Phil! Northfield fire station watch commander retires after 30 years service


A watch commander from Northfield Fire Station has retired today (Saturday 31st March) after 30 years as part of West Midlands Fire Service. 

Blue Watch Commander Phillip Richards has been based at the Northfield station for around 10 years.

If you’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Phil, you may recognise him from the recent fly on the wall TV series Into the Fire!

Early days: Phil (front centre) with colleagues back in 1990

In a heartfelt goodbye message on the station’s Facebook page, Phil wrote: “I was recently asked what was my proudest day in the Brigade. Well I’ll tell you – it was the day I joined and every day since.

“There have been some dark days but I’ve always felt proud and honoured to be part of the fellowship that the fire fighters family is.

“I have always known that it does not matter how dangerous, traumatic or unbelievable a situation was, that I would never have to face it alone.

Blue Watch’s recent snow man: obviously modelled on Phil!

“In the quiet moments now and then those things that can’t be unseen or unheard will slip into my thoughts, but they are swiftly brushed aside by the warmest, funniest times that will fill me with joy until the day I die – and longer I hope.

“Thank you to all I have served alongside throughout the years. You have helped shape me in to the person I am today (no need to fill in what that is!).

“It truly has been an honour and a privilege to help and serve this community of ours.”

Loyal Service Award presentation with colleagues

Station Commander Lee Baker tweeted: “Had the pleasure of presenting WCdr Phil Richards with his Loyal Service certificate on his last day with Northfield Blue Watch. Great to see other stations drop in to send him off.”

Phil, we thank you for your service and dedication to the local community and wish you a all the best in your next chapter! 

If you’re going to miss Phil, don’t worry! You can still catch him in the second series of the Really channel’s Into the Fire which is yet to be screened!



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