TOWER OF STRENGTH: Retained firefighter Colin Bennett farewells the Casino brigade.
TOWER OF STRENGTH: Retained firefighter Colin Bennett farewells the Casino brigade. Susanna Freymark

Fire brigade bells will stop ringing after 30 years

THE bells in Colin Bennett's Casino home used to ring every time there was a callout to a fire or traffic accident.

For 30 years, the ringing sound in the family home meant dad had to dash off to help fight a fire or attend to someone in a car accident.

His four daughters "slept through the bells half the time", Mr Bennett said.

"After being on call 24 hours a day for 30 years, you can't burn the candle all the time.

 

"There comes a time to retire."

One of his first fires was a "shop downtown" followed by a house fire.

The retained firefighter, who joined in 1985, is leaving the Casino brigade and his buddies want to make sure he has a decent send-off at his retirement dinner at the Casino RSM Club on Saturday. Zone Commander Inspector Gary White will make a presentation on behalf of the brigade.

Deputy captain of the Casino Fire Station, Robert Cox, worked with Mr Bennett for 30 years.

"Col was a great team player and fitted in well with all members of the brigade," Mr Cox said.

"Everyone knew him as Poppy Col because of the way he treated the kids of the other firefighters.

"Col will leave a hole in the brigade which will be difficult to fill."

Mr Bennett plans to still do some bus driving and maybe a bit of travel.

One of his favourite memories is the Casino Brigade winning the state championship demonstration at Port Macquarie in 2006 for the first time in Casino's history.

"It gave us bragging rights," Mr Bennett said.



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