Heat's off for blue lamp duo

PUBLISHED: 10:59 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:30 26 October 2009

Leading firefighter Sid Payne

Leading firefighter Sid Payne

BATTLING flames for the past 30 years, you would have thought retired firefighter Sid Payne would have had enough of the heat. But obviously not; the 52-year-old, who left the service a month ago, has moved to sunny Majorca to start up a diving instructi

BATTLING flames for the past 30 years, you would have thought retired firefighter Sid Payne would have had enough of the heat.

But obviously not; the 52-year-old, who left the service a month ago, has moved to sunny Majorca to start up a diving instruction business.

And who could blame him? When the WHT called, Sid was sitting beside the sea lapping up the sun and the sound of waves lashing in the background.

The former leading firefighter at WGC said: "I have enjoyed the last 30 years, but it was time to move on and find a different occupation. I have been thinking about retirement for the past five years.
 
"I think I will mainly miss the people I worked with, you have to rely on your team 100 per cent.
 
"I will also miss the operational incidents; the trouble is, the job has changed so much, what with enforced health and safety laws and with what you can and can't say."
 
The Codicote father-of-two said that one of his favourite jobs was using the high volume pump to clear the floods in Sheffield, as reported in the WHT in June last year.
 
"People were so glad to see us. We were the first on the scene, so they were really welcoming.
 
"We've had some hairy moments down the years as well, like a house fire in Stevenage, where the roof collapsed on top of us; but potentially every fire is hazardous."
 
After learning Spanish and German and passing diving instruction qualifications, Sid added that he was now "looking forward to the future".
 
"This is exactly where I want to be.
 
"I would like to thank everyone who turned up to my retirement party. It was good to see all the characters from the last 30 years."

* ANOTHER head of emergency services has given up his role after 30 years.

Detective inspector David Laming, from Tewin, joined the police force immediately after leaving school.

The 49-year-old plans to now continue volunteer work with the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and its Welwyn Hatfield group, of which he has been chairman for 10 years.

David, who had a varied career working at the crime reduction unit, the area crime unit and most recently in the forensic investigation department, said: "It has been a real privilege working alongside colleagues with such integrity and commitment.

"The challenges have often seemed insurmountable, but I never ceased to be amazed at what could be achieved when we all pulled together and the feeling of deep mutual satisfaction from our achievements. I will miss the teamwork and the 'can do' people very much."

Married to Sharon, who is also a Hertfordshire police officer, he has received many commendations for detective work investigating murders, armed robberies and serious sexual abuse networks, both with the Metropolitan Police and Herts Police.


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