New era of helping in retirement
TOWNSVILLE firefighter Alun Williams will hang up his hose tomorrow night after 49 years of rescuing people from infernos and car crashes.
Becoming a firefighter at 16 in the United Kingdom, the Townsville station officer stuck with the profession ever since, having served in several states after moving to Australia when he was 20.
And while Mr Williams will have to retire from operational duty after reaching 65, he does not plan to stop helping people any time soon.
He has already signed up for the rural fire brigade, where he plans to help the community on a volunteer basis for years to come.
The experienced firefighter has been at the forefront of some of Townsville’s most defining and tragic events, including the raging fire that tore through the old Townsville Supreme Court building in the early 1990s.
‘‘ I was in charge of that one and it was just huge,’’ he said.
But having been called out to more car crashes than he would care to remember, Mr Williams said the most confronting situation he ever faced was cutting Rebecca and Jessica Lance, who