The retirement of station officer Anthony Doyle from Naas fire station brings to an end three generations of service by his family.
His grandfather Louis started working as a fire officer in Naas in 1933, serving until 1955 while his father Tom began working there in 1949.
Tom Doyle died tragically three decades ago while on a training course in Castlebridge, Wexford.
While many firefighters have part time roles, the station officer is a full time job entailing many duties, apart from dealing with the day-to-day emergencies to which the fire service is summoned.
The monitoring of equipment is vital as is to ensure training is carried out and there is an endless stream of court cases at which evidence is required.
“We undertake a lot of training here for personnel from around the country, partly because in 1991 I attended a UK course which only 3 people from Ireland were involved,” said Anthony.
His role has changed over the years.
There are many more vehicles on the road meaning more accidents and because the Naas area has a big population there is a greater risk of fire.
It’s important, therefore, to ensure that staff are trained properly.
“In the past there was one person, the station officer, in charge of an any emergency situation but today different people have different roles to play in any situation.” Anthony has been the first to arrive at tragedies such as a 2 car crash in the late 1970s on the old Newbridge Road which claimed 6 lives. “There was little emphasis on seat belts and most of the bodies were on the road.”
He acknowledges other emergency service providers.
“The fire service used to do it all but sophisticated help is available today which makes the job a bit easier.”