Heroic Keith to step down after 45 years

One of Lincolnshire’s longest serving firefighters is finally stepping down from the role after almost half a century - on his 70th birthday!

Keith Larder will hang up his hosepipe for the final time this month.

Keith Larder, 69, has provided cover at North Somercotes fire station from 45 years, and he is now due to retire on his birthday later this month.

Thanks to Keith’s incredible loyalty and long service, his senior colleagues have been full of praise for the positive impact he has made over the decades.

Lincolnshire’s Chief Fire Officer, Les Britzman, 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.”

Councillor Nick Worth, executive councillor for emergency services at Lincolnshire County Council, added: “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.”

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.

A Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “Keith has also carried out many fundraising events, mainly raising funds for the Fire Fighters Charity – an important cause for fire fighters 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.”