Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Firefighter celebrates 45 year milestone

An Essex County Fire and Rescue Service on-call firefighter is celebrating 45 years’ in the Service this month. 

Watch Manager Derek Whitbread from Epping Fire Station is one of the Service’s longest ever serving on-call firefighters having begun his career with the Service in June 1975 at Epping Fire Station.

The crew at Epping Fire Station held a surprise ‘socially distanced’ celebration guard of honour on 4 June to celebrate Derek’s milestone of 45 years’ Service.

After joining what was then called the Essex Fire Brigade as an on-call firefighter in June 1975, Derek has given almost 120 hours cover a week in Epping alongside his day job and family life to protect his local community. 

He has risen through the ranks to become a Watch Manager and his colleagues across the Service hold him in high regard.

Jo Turton, Chief Fire Officer / Chief Executive has commended Derek on his incredible long service.

Jo said: “Derek is quite rightly something of a legend within our Service – his amazing dedication and commitment to the people of Epping and Essex over the last 45 years is unparalleled in our Service.

“Derek deserves the utmost thanks for this amazing achievement, and so does his wonderful family that have supported him over the years and throughout his career.”

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Page last updated 5 June 2020

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