Last of the first fireys retires
By WILL JACKSON
EVERY time Kevin Muldoon hears a fire engine's siren he feels a small pang of loss.
After recently retiring from the Goonellabah NSW Fire Brigade, he still misses going out to jobs.
The daytime ones that is. He doesn't miss getting dragged out of bed by those dreaded 4am calls.
Nonetheless, he was sad to finally hang up his firehose and red helmet.
"But I'm 71 in May, so it was really time to give it away," he said yesterday.
Kevin joined the brigade as a retained firefighter in March, 1964, down at the Lismore station.
He was assigned to the Goonellabah station when it was opened in 1972 and made captain in 1976.
At retirement he was the last of the station's original staff. "I didn't want a big send-off, I'm not into that kind of thing," he said.
"I miss working with the blokes, jumping on the back of the truck and heading out to jobs. I miss the comradery. Being a firey is like being part of the biggest club in the world."
Kevin said there was no one aspect of the job he enjoyed most. "The whole lot was good. Just helping people out when they needed it most," he said.
His career highlight was receiving the Australian Fire Service Medal, which is just above an Order of Australia Medal.
Despite being retired, Kevin still keeps himself busy. He has a 70-acre farm with a few cattle out at Caniaba, plays a fair bit of Euchre, at least three or four nights a week, and then there is his extensive collection of emergency services memorabilia.
As the sticker on his wall says: "Old firefighters don't die, they just stop arson about."