Redbridge Fire chief retires after 25 years to help guide dogs
PUBLISHED: 15:00 01 October 2016
He can legitimately list navy officer and fireman on his CV – much to the envy of little boys and a few men everywhere – but Steve Brown has hung up his London Fire Brigade borough commander uniform for the last time to turn his talented hands to a new career.
After 25 years of service, Steve, 51, has left the brigade to take up a new role as head of the Guide Dogs National Breeding Centre, Warwickshire.
“I have reached the moment when I can retire and I had really enjoyed volunteering with guide dogs in Redbridge,” said Steve.
“A real unique opportunity came up to work with the national breeding centre and I am really looking forward to it.”
Steve has helped thousands of residents in the borough and was part of “challenging operations” devised to counter the London riots in 2011.
On top of his day-to-day fireman and borough commander duties, he was also part of the 2012 Olympic Games in Stratford and oversaw operations which he described as a “great privilege” and a “once-in-a-lifetime” role.
“I can tell you how much I will miss Redbridge,” he added.
“It’s a fantastic borough and the people of Redbridge have always been very supportive.
“It’s been great to work in partnership with the voluntary sector and the local authority.”
Working as part of a team is important in most careers, but the bond between colleagues has been especially important for Steve when working as a naval officer and a fireman, roles which require a “unique set of skills”.
“I will miss my staff and the people I worked with the most,” he told the Recorder.
“I have some tremendous staff and I am proud to call them friends and colleagues – the fire brigade is only as good as the people in it and it has great camaraderie.
“Being a firefighter is one of the best careers that anyone could choose.”
If you want to wish the former borough commander well, he will be stopping by at Woodford fire station on October 8 at 11am, as a guest at its open day.
The new borough commander for the brigade is Frazer Ferguson.
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