Mussett family celebrate 87 years' service at West Mersea Fire Station
A special evening celebrating the incredible contribution the Mussett family has provided to West Mersea Fire Station over the last 87 years was held last week (June 23).
Since 1929, six members of the Mussett family have served at the fire station situated on Mersea Island, near Colchester, Essex.
Gordon Mussett was the first to join the Service back in 1929, followed by his son David in 1956. Following in their father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, David’s three sons all joined the fire station as soon as they were old enough; Chris joined in 1978, Gary in 1979 and Jon in 1983. Gary’s son Sam is the most recent Mussett to join the crew in 2007.
As well as manning the fire engines on West Mersea, two members of the family, Chris and Sam are also wholetime firefighters in Colchester and Grays.
Gary Mussett, 54, who is also a self-employed painter and decorator, said: “The biggest change over the years has been the improvement in technology. The appliances and equipment we have now are so much better than the ones I trained with. We used to have to wear cork helmets, plastic leggings and work the water pumps by hand. The types of incidents have changed quite a bit too. Thanks to all the prevention and protection work we do we don’t get as many big fires. Sadly we do get a lot more road traffic collisions.
Sam Mussett, 27, said: “I grew up watching my father, uncles and grandad all working at the fire station, and from a very young age I knew that’s what I wanted to do too.
“I remember being at primary school and hearing the station sirens. I would run to the school gates and watch my family roaring off down the road in the fire engine. I couldn’t wait to join them so I could help my community too. The moment I turned 18, I was lined up at training school ready to carry on the ‘family business’”.
The whole Mussett family, including grandchildren and great-grandchildren, gathered at the fire station last Thursday (June 23) for the celebration. They were joined by the rest of the crew from West Mersea and fire officers.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Dave Bill presented the family with an inscribed plaque to recognise their long service and dedication. Dave said:
“The Mussett family have been dedicated members of this fire station for a staggering 87 years. Their commitment, sacrifice and loyalty to the station is extraordinary and demonstrates an incredible commitment to the people of Mersea.
“It is a remarkable commitment to a fire station from a single family. On behalf of ECFRS and the communities you serve, I would like to thank the entire Mussett family for the important roles they have played in helping to keep the residents of Mersea safe for the past 87 years.”
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is currently recruiting on-call firefighters at a number of stations across the County. If you are interested in becoming an on-call firefighter and would like to know how it might work for you, visit our website or call 01376 576121 for more information.