Whitefield fire station has temporarily welcomed father and son firefighting combo, John and Sam Smith, onto its Blue Watch.

John, who lives in Whitefield and Sam who lives in Radcliffe, made up half of the crew on Sunday, February 5.

Although it was a relatively quiet shift in terms of responding to emergency calls the watch were able to visit Salford Community Fire Station to use the state of the art training facilities and allow John and Sam to work together in a simulated emergency situation.

When asked what it was like to have Sam on shift with him, John said: “I found it surreal. It was really quite different to a normal day, it was brilliant to have him there and definitely one of the best days I’ve had in the fire service. I’m due to retire soon and I’m hoping to speak to some of the lads to swap shifts so I can spend the day with Sam on his shift.”

Speaking with Sam about how he felt working with his dad, he said: “It was a really good day, I’ve always wanted to be in the fire service and so to get to work with my dad was a really good experience. I was able to learn loads from my dad, obviously all his experience shone through and I hope I get the chance to work with him again before he retires.”

Pat Walsh, Watch Manager at Whitefield Community Fire Station, said: “I’ve worked at GMFRS for 30 years now and never heard of a father and son being on the same watch together. I was thrilled when I got the news they’d be together, to mark the occasion we visited Breathing Apparatus (BA) hazard training facility at Salford and really put them both through their paces!”

John, 55, has been with GMFRS for nearly 30 years, whilst Sam, 28, only joined the Service in 2016, having previously worked as a police officer for GMP.


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