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Sheppey watch manager Tony Fox is leaving station in Sheerness after 22 years to start work at Medway

By Emma Grove

A firefighter who is leaving Sheppey after more than 20 years says he is privileged to have served the Island where he was born.

Red watch manager Tony Fox will be starting a new job at Medway this week.

His move comes amid changes being made by Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

Tony Fox is leaving Sheppey fire station after 22 years

The station in High Street, Sheerness, is part of a pilot restructure where its two watches are being dissolved.

Instead, the remaining crew will all be working on a self-rostering basis.

Mr Fox joined the brigade in 1992.

After his stint at the training centre in Maidstone, he was posted to Thameside in Gravesend in June that year.

A few months later he was moved to Sheppey as they were short of a member of staff and he has been there ever since.

The 46-year-old, who lives in Sheerness, was promoted to leading firefighter (now crew manager) in 1998 and took on his current role in 2007.

The Glass House fire

He said one of the more memorable jobs during his time on the Island was the fire at the Glass House last summer, where people had to be rescued from the top floor of the blazing building.

The dad-of-one also recalls in the 1990s when the crew was asked to assist with cooling down some elephants which were in a circus at Halfway.

He said the owner turned up at the station and asked for help and they ended up hosing the animals down and giving them a brush, which he said was good fun.

He has also been involved with helping many community groups such as Scouts and Brownies with fire safety training.

“Sheppey is a community-based station, it’s like a family here,” he said.

“We have the fire launch and the mud rescue equipment – specialist skills – which is nice.

“I’m a Swampy anyway and it’s been a privilege to serve on the Island.

“I’m going to miss it very much but with restructuring things like this have to happen and Medway is a much bigger watch so it will bring new challenges.

“I will miss the lads here more than anything. They are brilliant.”

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