Long-serving Norman honoured for four decades of outstanding service

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by Jamie Milligan

Norman, third from the left in front row, has served his community for 40 years.

A long-serving firefighter has been acknowledged for outstanding service to his local community.

Retained firefighter Norman Burt has helped protect his hometown of Largs and its surrounding areas for four decades.

Beginning life as a firefighter on January 1, 1979 after being inspired by a workmate,

Norman has never looked back and still “loves” responding to incidents with his crewmates to protect his community.

The 62-year-old, who also works as a joiner, was recently honoured by colleagues and retired firefighters at an emotional surprise ceremony held at Largs Fire Station.

Modest Norman remains as committed to helping to protect communities as the day he donned his helmet for the first time.

He said: “I love doing this job and love helping people.

“As a retained firefighter you care about your community and about your fellow firefighters – the comradeship is excellent.”

“I want to continue to do this job to the best of my ability because I still love what I do.”

Norman was alerted to the life of a retained firefighter while working with the workmate, who used to rush from work with a local joinery firm to attend call-outs.

Back then, retained firefighters would be alerted to an emergency by the sound of their local station’s siren.

And, while many things have changed during Norman’s tenure, the appreciation of members of the community towards the work of firefighters remains tangible.

Norman revealed: “People always appreciate the work we do.

“You see the relief in their face when we arrive to incidents. They’re reassured by our presence.”

To mark Norman’s outstanding service, crewmates and ex-colleagues threw a surprise gathering for him.

According to the man himself, it’s an occasion that will live with him forever.

He revealed: “It was a complete surprise.”

“I walked round the corner and saw everyone gathered and thought: ‘What’s all this?’”

“It was very much appreciated.”

“It is a moment which will stay with me forever.”

Jim Scott is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Local Senior Officer for Ayrshire and attended Norman’s ceremony.

He paid tribute to Norman’s “extraordinary” service.

LSO Scott said: “As the Local Senior Officer for Ayrshire it was a pleasure to formally recognise Normans’ extraordinary commitment to protecting his communities over the past 40 years.

“Norman’s dedication has seen him respond to a large number and variety of incidents and has no doubt made a positive impact on many people’s lives. I would like to thank him for his continuous service”

Are you inspired by Norman’s story? Find out more about how to become a retained firefighter by

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