Fire chief calls it a day
SUFFOLK'S chief fire officer Malcolm Alcock has announced he is to retire at the end of the year after 35 years service.The 51-year-old father-of-two began his career as junior fireman at the age of 16 and moved to Suffolk in 1984, where he has remained ever since.
SUFFOLK'S chief fire officer Malcolm Alcock has today announced he is to retire at the end of the year after 35 years service.
The 51-year-old father-of-two began his career as junior fireman at the age of 16 and moved to Suffolk in 1984, where he has remained ever since.
He will leave his position in November to spend more time with his first grandchild before embarking on a new career.
Mr Alcock, who lives near Ipswich, said: "By the time I retire in November I shall have been here just over 35 years and I have thoroughly enjoyed my career.
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"I would like to do it again in many ways. A career in the fire service usually spans 30 years and when you get to 35 obviously it's time to move on.
"It's been very challenging but also very rewarding. I have worked with some excellent staff who really provided an excellent service. I'm very proud of the fire service in Suffolk and the level of service we provide the public."
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Mr Alcock began his working life on a two-year fire-training scheme in Staffordshire before progressing to station officer and station commander at Burton on Trent.
After that, he spent two years as an instructor at a fire service college before moving to Suffolk in 1984, where he became chief officer in 1997.
"Obviously I have been in charge of some major incidents and that in itself has been very rewarding, resolving problems for the benefit of the community," he said.
"Bearing in mind I still have six months to do I am still very active and intend to be until the end. I have many fond memories over the years and many stories, which I will take with me.
"I am still too young to do nothing. I will look for other ways of serving the community but I shall take a little break first as I have recently had my first granddaughter come along so obviously that is foremost in our minds as well."
Mr Alcock said the decision to retire was announced early so a replacement could be found before his departure and added the new recruit could look forward to an excellent brigade.
Last night county councillor Peter Monk, portfolio holder for public protection, added: "We will be sad to see him go. He has taken Suffolk through some major changes and really enhanced the fire service and we are all very proud of what he has done. He will be a hard act to follow."