Trevor Bailey, a senior firefighter at the Port Pirie Metropolitan Fire Station was on shift for the last time on Friday and has said goodbye to firefighting after a 41 year career.
Trevor started at the headquarters in Adelaide in 1977, where he had come down from Kadina to start the job and he ended up working across Adelaide stations for the next 13 years.
Trevor says that he had just been working small jobs that were not leading anywhere in particular and his Dad, who was a station officer in Kadina had a chat to someone in Adelaide and before he knew it, his pathway had been set up.
“I was working on a lot of little jobs that weren’t leading to far. Dad was a station officer at Kadina and he had a talk to one of the fellas from Adelaide and made it known that I was interested in joining and next minute I was down there doing exams and tests”, he said.
“I did most of the Northern stations. I did a lot of work at Elizabeth and then came up to Port Pirie in 1990, stayed for 10 years, went back to Elizabeth for seven years and I have been back here in Pirie since 2007.”
The job that Trevor went to day in and day out was unpredictable, he never knew what he was going to be faced with but he says that was all apart of why it was so attractive to him.
“The best part of the fire brigade, you never know what is going to happen when you go to work that day. You are seeing and doing something different every shift”, he explained.
“It has its ups and downs, you don’t like to see the tragic side of the job, it takes a little bit of getting used to. People deal with it in their own ways. It is something that you have got to handle.”
He explains that on most call outs, he is faced with people who are currently experiencing the worst times of the lives and the best you can do is care for them.
“You can be cutting them out of a car, it does not get much worse than that, or putting out their houses. You have got to care for people and consider their feelings and their futures when you are dealing with them.”
There is a legendary status about Trevor, with the younger firefighters appreciative of the wealth of knowledge he brings to the team and they are all sad to see him go.
“Losing that experience will be a bit of a hit to the shift”, firefighter Jesse Vivar said.
“He has the local knowledge as well and it is good having him around.”
The best part of the job for Trevor are the people he works with and the comradery that comes with that, but he now looks forward to his next stage in life.
“The wife and I are going to do a bit of travelling and we have two grandchildren. But we will be seeing a lot more of them now.”