Date Published : July 28th, 2016 Published By : admin'My most memorable fire was the Glanbia meat factory fire in Edenderry, not necessarily because of the fire itself but because of the devastating effect it had on the town'.
After spending 28 years in the fire service, Seamus McGuinness, Sub-Station Officer at Edenderry Fire Station has hung up his helmet for the final time with Offaly Fire & Rescue Service on Monday July 18th.
Seamus spent 10 years as a firefighter and the remaining 18 years as Sub Officer.
Photo: (Sub Officer Seamus McGuinness)
On Sunday July 17th 1988, Seamus was handed an alerted and told ‘from Midnight you are a fireman’. Seamus told EmergencyTimes.com of his first call-out. ‘I was a fireman for two days when my first call came through. It was for a hay shed fire at Castlejordan on Wednesday afternoon and my second call coming in quickly after to a chimney fire in Rhode, so I got stuck into it fairly quickly’.
Seamus recalls many incidents he attended from road traffic collisions to rescues and numerous fires including house fires, shops, vehicles and garages.
Most memorable call-out
His most memorable was the Glanbia meat factory fire in Edenderry, not necessarily because of the fire itself but because of the devastating effect it had on the town. Hundreds of people were affected as the large factory was completely destroyed.
During his career in the fire service Seamus served at three different fire stations. IN 1988, when he joined, the fire station in Edenderry was located just off the town square before the station was relocated to a converted industrial unit in the Edenderry Business Park, formally part of the old shoe factory.
In more recent years, Offaly Fire & Rescue Service build a new fire station at Sister Senan Avenue where Seamus served as Sub Officer for the remainder of his career.
Edenderry Fire Station (Pic: Fire-Ireland.com)
Biggest change to the fire service
Seamus believes the biggest change to the fire service in his 28 years was on Health & Safety and, according to Seamus, ‘all for the better’. These changes have led to improved training and equipment.
On retiring from Offaly County Fire & Rescue Service, Seamus thanked all his colleagues and officers he has worked with and met down through the years. He also thanked the fire fighters from neighbouring stations and counties who he may have met with and trained with.
Seamus told Emergency Times that his job as a retained fire fighter would not have been possible without the support and understanding from his family, to whom he extends a special thanks to.
Offaly Fire Appliance (Pic: Declan Keogh)
The Final Call
The last and final call Seamus responded to was to assist an ambulance crew from the HSE gain entry to a house at Carbury, Co. Kildare, just over the Kildare/Offaly border.
Offaly's Chief Fire Officer Eoin O' Ceilleachair and Senior Fire Officers at Central Fire Station in Tullamore along with Edenderry Station Officer Andrew Flanagan and Edenderry Sub-Station Officer Gabriel Conlon all wished Seamus well in his retirement and for the future. .