Inspirational firefighter retires after 45 years of service

A long-serving firefighter is set to retire after an inspirational 45 years of service for the residents of North Somercotes.

Keith Larder is one of Lincolnshire's longest ever serving firefighters having provided cover at North Somercotes station for 45 years.

He is now due to retire in January – on his 70th birthday.

Chief fire officer Les Britzman has commended Keith on his continuous efforts over the years.

He said: "At 69 years old, Keith continues to perform all aspects of firefighting, dedicating himself to maintaining the fitness required to carry out the role.

“Keith has remained in an operational role and has served his community while inspiring others who work alongside him. 

“Keith has continued to help new firefighters through their development stage to become competent firefighters, and many serving and retired firefighters still think of him as the one person who mentored them, guided and taught them in their early career.

“He has also carried out many fundraising events, mainly raising funds for the Fire Fighters Charity – an important cause for firefighters across the country.

This included a coast to coast bike ride in 2016 at the age of 66, covering 150 miles by bike over three days through the Lake District and over the Pennines.

“He is always the first person to put his name forward for any of the charity events at the fire station.”

Councillor Nick Worth, executive councillor for emergency services at Lincolnshire County Council, described Keith as an example to others.

"Keith is a shining example of the best of our hard-working firefighters, and has dedicated his life to helping others at what is often, their most difficult time.

“Our on-call firefighters are highly valued in our communities and by the service, so Keith deserves the utmost thanks for this amazing achievement."