Retained Lancing firefighters call it a day after 50 years of service between them

Peter Moore and Keith Stainer
Peter Moore and Keith Stainer

Two firefighters who between them have more than 50 years’ combined service at Lancing station are to leave their roles.

Keith Stainer and Peter Moore have been retained firefighters at Lancing fire station for 37 and 18 years respectively.

During that time, they have needed to be ready to drop what they were doing whenever they were called for duty.

But the pair have now decided to call time on their retained firefighter careers.

Keith, from Halewick Lane, Sompting, said: “When you put on that uniform and help someone elderly or in need it makes you feel very good.

“There have been good and bad times, as there are with any job, but I felt now was the time to leave.”

Keith, 61, said it was a newspaper advert and conversations with an ex-firemen he worked with at the time that piqued his interest in the role.

He started when he was 24 and said his experiences could “fill a newspaper”.

Among the most memorable was the fire of Warnes Hotel, on the corner of Steyne Gardens, in October, 1987, which led to the hotel being gutted.

He said: “There was smoke billowing out of almost every room. First there was a few fire engines then quickly there was at least 14.

“But, thankfully, no-one was seriously injured in the fire. That was a testament to the work firefighters did and the training we were given.”

Peter Moore, 43, was a self-employed taxi driver when he started working as a retained firefighter.

Now a full-time firefighter at Shoreham Airport, he said he would not have got his current job without those experiences as a retained firefighter.

But he said the prospect of being on call, no matter what you were doing, had at times stood in the way of other parts of his life.

Peter, who lives in Western Road, Lancing, is now looking forward to spending more time with his 13-year-old daughter.

He said: “You have to be on-call, which is an awful lot of commitment. I will miss the boys because you really have to look out for each other, but I’d like to be able to relax a bit more now and spend time with my daughter.”

Keith said he was grateful to his employer, Manhattan Furniture, based in Lancing Business Park, for allowing him to respond to calls for 37 years.