Name tribute to veteran firefighter from Hawick

A veteran firefighter from the Borders has had a fire appliance named after him to mark the half-century of service he’s now notched up.

By Darin Hutson
Friday, 3rd January 2020, 11:31 am
Dave Farries with the mobile museum he helped set up.
Dave Farries with the mobile museum he helped set up.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is naming its mobile fire museum after Dave Farries, originally from Hawick’s Burnfoot Road but currently living in Currie in Edinburgh.

The 67-year-old first joined the South Eastern Fire Brigade in August 1968 and has since worked as a firefighter, instructor and investigator, helping launch the museum now bearing his name in 2016.

“This truly is something very special and means a great deal to me and my family,” said the former Hawick High School and Burnfoot Primary pupil.

“I was asked how I would feel about an appliance being named after me. I was taken aback and slightly embarrassed, if I’m honest.

“I was humbled and over the moon to find out that it is to be the mobile museum and that my name will be there long after me.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working alongside tireless colleagues and dedicated volunteers in developing the mobile fire museum to what it is today.

“This, for me, is the ultimate accolade. To the best of my knowledge, the naming of an appliance is not something awarded to many people within any fire and rescue service.

“Frankly, I don’t feel that I deserve this. I am just lucky to have been able to stay the course in a job that I love.”

That announcement was made at a fire brigade recognition ceremony at Linlithgow Burgh Halls in West Lothian as Dave was given a certificate and statuette by chief officer Martin Blunden in recognition of his 50 years’ service.

Dave, a watch commander, has spent his entire career in and around Edinburgh and the east of Scotland, having been based in all but one of the capital’s fire stations.

Awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal at Edinburgh’s Holyrood Palace in 2014, he splits his time nowadays between the service’s east headquarters at Newbridge, a storage facility near Falkirk and touring with the mobile museum across Scotland.

Mr Blunden said: “I was incredibly proud to present Dave Farries with his meritorious service certificate in recognition of an incredible 50 years’ dedication to his community, to his country and to the fire and rescue service in Scotland.

“Watch commander Farries is a hugely respected figure within the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service – and indeed across the UK – and we are fortunate that so many colleagues have been able to benefit from his advice, knowledge and experience during his long and distinguished career.

“That he is now approaching his 52nd year of service is quite remarkable.

“This is a truly fitting award for an outstanding individual.”