Deputy fire captain hangs up his helmet after 40 years
NO MORE bells ringing through the house, no more pagers buzzing for late night call-outs.
After 40 years in the Casino Fire Brigade, deputy captain Bob Cox is hanging up his helmet.
Wife Sue won't miss the bells. She said it was something the kids had to get used to, growing up with a fire fighter father.
One of seven children, Bob joined the brigade when he was 25 years old because he "had a brother in the brigade.”
In those days, people were alerted to a fire by sirens ringing across the streets of Casino, he said.
Then came the bells in the hallway of the Cox home.
"You get used to it,” Bob said. "You never knew what you were going to when the bells rang.”
The most harrowing experience for Bob was when the crew had a call-out at midnight to a house fire.
"I was driving and we got a radio message that people were trapped inside the house,” Bob said.
"When we pulled up, people were hysterical.”
The station officer went straight into the house, Bob said.
"Within minutes he was screaming at the front door for the oxygen reviver.”
A five year old boy was carried out of the fire and taken to hospital.
Bob later heard he had passed away.
There are happier memories though.
For Bob that was the demo competitions between stations and regions.
Not only did they get to practice their skills, the comradery between the fire crews was something Bob loved.
Bob was nicknamed Little Legs because he so good at going up the ladder, Sue said.
In later years, when the brigade used pagers to alert fire fighters, Bob reckoned it would take seven minutes from when the pagers buzzed to have the fire truck out the door.
Life is more relaxed no with no bells, buzzes or texts messages making Bob rush out the door.
The couple plan to travel in their caravan across the Nullarbor and Bob has his eye on fixing up the garden and spending more time with their four grandchildren.