A firefighter from the Defence Fire Service has been celebrating a stunning anniversary this summer.
John Ross arrived RAF Lossiemouth for the first time in August 1974 at the age of just 19 – now 40 years later he is still at the forefront of protecting the base.
Just 19 when he first stepped through the gates at Lossiemouth, John progressed to leading firefighter and station officer in 1978 and 1980.
He completed detached duties throughout the UK and overseas in Sardinia and arctic Norway and served as sub-officer at RNAD Coulport on his promotion in 1996. But it was soon back to Lossiemouth for John four years ago where he was promoted to Acting Station Manager.
Over his 40 year career John has seen many different aircraft based at Lossiemouth – and major improvements in the Station Fire Service.
He said: “I think the most significant change has been in the Fire Service itself, as in every Fire Service in recent years the growing emphasis has been on the increasing impact of health and safety, training and accountability.
“I think that the guys who occupied my present post of Watch Manager/Crew Commander when I started would hardly recognise the job as it is today. Most of the changes though have been for the good.
“It feels amazing to have reached forty years service here. It doesn’t seem nearly so long, and overall I can say it’s been a great career, which I’ve really enjoyed. I’ve met lots of amazing people and made lots of friends in the service throughout the country.”
John and his partner Beth live in Lossiemouth, the parents of a grown-up son and daughter – and he has no plans of giving up his Fire Service career any time soon.
He was caught by surprise when the station commander, Group Captain Mark Chappell, presented him with a print of a local scene to mark his stunning achievement.
Joining the station commander at the presentation was Fire Station manager Iain Spence, who said: “John has dedicated forty years to the Fire Service and RAF Lossiemouth, and I’m really pleased we were able to recognise his commitment and dedication.”