‘My thirty years as a firefighter’

Craig Tennant with his crew at Castleford Fire Station.
Craig Tennant with his crew at Castleford Fire Station.

Firefighter Craig Tennant will hang up his helmet on Monday after 30 years of service.

Mr Tennant, 53, who is based at Castleford station, joined West Yorkshire Fire Service in June 1988, after previously being employed as a sign erector.

His career has seen him called to blazes and crashes and he has also rescued a cat with its head stuck in an industrial bin.

But it is two tragic call outs that he will never forget.

In 2013, Mr Tennant, from Pontefract, attended the scene of the M62 hen party minibus crash, which claimed the life of Bethany Jones. He recalls pulling women, many with life changing injuries, from the wreckage.

Years earlier, when stationed at Hunslet, he attended a serious house fire in Tingley, with four children trapped inside. Two of the children died.

Mr Tennant said: “Fire fighting was a job that offered a rewarding career in which I could help people who found themselves in difficult situations.

“It is a job that gives me immense satisfaction, confidence and many life skills.

“With regards to the two very serious jobs, adrenalin kicks in and you focus on the job in hand. Afterwards back at station we have a “fire brew” and a chat about the job which acts as a stress reliever.”

Mr Tennant’s first post was at Pontefract Fire Station, where he served for four years.

In 1992, he was posted to Hunslet, where he stayed for 13 years, before moving to Ossett station in 2005.

He then had shorter spells at South Elmsall, Wakefield and Knottingley, before arriving at Castleford in 2012.

He has also represented the UK Fire Service cricket team for the past 26 seasons.

He said: “I will miss the job and the fantastic camaraderie.”