Committed Scorton fireman delays retirement from Garstang Fire Station to help crew during crisis
A fireman was praised today after postponing his retirement to help out his colleagues during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Father-of-three Jack Horner, 46, was due to leave in April after clocking up 25 years of service, including 20 at Garstang Fire Station, which is crewed by 14 firefighters.
But the unit manager, who lives in Scorton, had a change of heart after seeing how much pressure the county’s emergency services are under.
He was just 20 when he joined the service, serving his first five years in Lancaster, where he was on call 168 hours a week, carrying a pager most of the time.
Today he said: “ I transferred to Garstang in April 2000 and I wanted to get past April 16 so I’d done a full 20 for the community I live in.
“I had already told them I was going to go.
“But with all that’s going on I’m not prepared to leave my crew in jeopardy - I felt it wasn’t right.
“At the minute we’ve not really been mobilised to anything out of the ordinary, we are making sure we are deep cleaning things.
“ But we are anticipating assisting with other things as time goes on.
He added: “It’s business as usual for the moment, but obviously we’re trying to take more care social distancing at station.
“It’s difficult as we have to fit four people minimum in an engine when we get called out.
“My job is to keep my appliance 100% available.”
Jack does still plan to retire some time this year, leaving the station in the capable hands of his brother, who is currently the crew manager.
He added: “It will be left in good hands but I wasn’t prepared to leave until we know exactly what we’re dealing with.”
Garstang is an ‘on call’ station, meaning it’s manned by on-call firefighters.
On-call firefighters book themselves as available to respond to an incident, meaning they can combine working for the fire service with their other career or personal circumstances.
Jack also works as an Incident Commander at Springfield Fuels at Salwick.
He is married to Gillian, who works at Daisy Clough garden centre in Scorton, and they have three children aged 19,17 and 14.
In his spare time he is an athlete, previously claiming his third Iron Man title in Bolton and representing Great Britain at the European Duathlon Championships in Copenhagen.
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