West Sussex firefighter celebrates incredible 40 years of service

A West Sussex firefighter has celebrated an incredible 40 years of life-saving service.

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 7:36 am

Roy Barraclough, station commander for Worthing, Steyning and Lancing fire stations, followed in the footsteps of his father Bill who served at Shoreham Fire Station from the end of the Second World War.

After launching his own career in 1979, Roy said it gave him great pride to know a Barraclough had been part of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service for 74 years.

“My grandfather also served as a police officer in London before that, so clearly there is something in the blood,” he said.

Roy Barraclough SUS-191223-132920001

“It’s been an amazing experience working for the West Sussex community. I still love coming to work every single day, and I have no immediate plans to leave.

“The running joke in the service has been that I forgot to retire. That day just hasn’t arrived for me yet, I am still incredibly passionate about serving the community as the day I joined.

“I wanted to make a difference and feel that I still do. Over the years the range of incidents we get called to has definitely grown, and we help more people now than ever before. I wouldn’t change it for the world, and to anyone who may be thinking of joining, I can tell you it is a very rewarding career.”

Roy has worked at stations across the county, including nine years spent at Worthing, and has become a well-known figure in the community.

His remarkable tenure has seen him respond to the bombing of Brighton’s Grand Hotel in 1984 and the Shoreham Airshow disaster in 2015.

He is also involved with a lot of charity work, travelling around the world to provide aid and new equipment to fire services. This autumn he was part of a team which drove more than 1,500 miles to Macedonia to deliver a fire engine and train the local crews.

West Sussex’s chief fire officer, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, said Roy’s knowledge and expertise made him a true asset to the fire service.

“A true professional, Roy’s love for the job he does is plain to see,” she said.

“He is passionate about the communities he serves and he has worked tirelessly over the years to ensure the fire and rescue service remains at the heart of those communities and ready to respond when needed most.”