LES Thomson, Bo’ness station’s longest-serving firefighter has hung up his boots with the retained crew, after doing his last shift on Fair E’en.
Watch commander at Crawfield Lane since 1990, Les took over that post from father-in-law Ronnie Nisbet, who was responsible for sparking Les’ initial interest in the job as an 18-year-old.
It has since proved to be a life-changing decision, as in the course of his 37 years of retained service, his day-job as a plumber gave way to becoming fire station officer at INEOS oil refinery in Grangemouth.
Les has loved serving his community, alongside many other longstanding crew members.
He has seen advances in technology and training but it’s been the job’s variety he has most enjoyed, saying: “Every time you get a call out, you never know what you are going to. You get a hint, for example, a road traffic collision, but you get there and it’s something else.”
With Les and his crew having faced dangerous, and at times harrowing situations, he said: “I tend to put the bad things to the back of my mind and think of the good things.”
Bo’ness retained colleague Craig Hannah, who spoke at Les’ retiral presentation at the station last Wednesday, said he was a ‘great guy’ with a lot of experience and dedication.
“It’s a phenomenal amount of time Les has worked, and he’s given that up for the community of Bo’ness,” said Craig.
Les (55), of Craigallan Park, is married to Christine. The couple have two daughters, Pauline Scott and Laura Patterson, and four grandchildren.
With his relative through marriage, Allan Scott, also based at Bo’ness fire station, Les joked at one time he, Ronnie and Allan were called the Waltons!