Firefighter Neil’s 30 year service to our area

Firefighter Neil Burkinshaw retiring after 30 years service.
Firefighter Neil Burkinshaw retiring after 30 years service.

Firefighter Neil Burkinshaw will retire next week after more than 30 years’ service in the district.

Mr Burkinshaw, first started with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, in 1985.

He has worked at Castleford, Wakefield, Batley and Ossett fire stations during his time with the service.

Mr Burkinshaw, 54, said: “I only became a firefighter by chance. I was in a dead end job and one of my mates said the fire service was recruiting.

“I thought why not and signed up. It was the best decision I have ever made because I’ve loved every minute of the last 30 years.”

The dad-of-two worked at Wakefield Fire Station for 22 years, Batley for one year, spent five years at Ossett Fire Station and Castleford for two years.

He will retire at the end of his shift at midnight on Friday, November 6.

Mr Burkinshaw, from Wakefield, said: “I think what I’ll miss the most is the comradery with the other lads.

“I have worked with some great people over the years and will miss them all when I’ve finished.

“I’ll also miss going out to the incidents. It sounds daft because they usually involve people in distress but there is a buzz when you get called out and the most rewarding part of the job is knowing you’ve helped people when they need it the most.”

Mr Burkinshaw was part of the crew who had to rescue fellow firefighters from the scene of a crash on the M62 in 1991.

Crews from Castleford fire station crashed on the way to a fatal accident on the motorway and Mr Burkinshaw helped cut two firefighters out of the wreckage.

He was also part of a team who rescued a family of three from a house fire in Wakefield.

Mr Burkinshaw said: “It was a particularly memorable day because there were only four of us at the scene as other crews were on another job.

“We managed to get them all out of the house safely though.”