The watch commander at Redbourn Fire Station is retiring after 36 years, and said he will "miss it desperately"

Starting in July 1978 as a retained firefighter at Redbourn, Paul Heard has dedicated many thousands of hours to keeping the population of Redbourn safe from fire, road accidents and other emergencies. 

Paul rose through the ranks to become the watch commander in charge of Redbourn Fire Station in 2001 and has steered the station to being one of the "best retained units in the county". 

Over the years Paul has attended a huge array of incidents ranging from rescuing cats from trees to being one of the first officers on scene at the huge blaze at the Buncefield Oil Terminal.

Paul said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the fire service and will miss it desperately. The team at Redbourn are a fantastic bunch to work with and it has been a pleasure to have looked after Redbourn for so many years."

District commander Ian Markwell said: "Paul has been a well-respected, professional and dedicated officer for many years and will certainly be missed by the fire service and his team at Redbourn. We wish him all the very best in his well-earned retirement." 

Anyone interested in joining the part time fire crew at Redbourn Fire Station can find further details at or contact retained support officer Peter Hatherley on 07879 487581.