Bideford’s station commander is retiring after 38 years of service in the community.

AFTER 38 years of loyal service, the station commander at Bideford fire station is taking a well earned retirement.

David Slade joined the station in 1974, and was quickly promoted to leading firefighter in 1978, a position now known as crew manager.

Working up to Sub Officer in 1983, he later became station commander in 2003 and saw out the rest of his career there until leaving on June 30.

Bruce Lesslie has taken over the role as Station Commander, having served as a firefighter in the community since 1981.

Mr Lesslie was promoted to lead firefighter in 1999 and sub officer in 2003, and now has 19 retained firefighters under his command.

He said: “It is a great honour to become Station Commander and I look forward to taking over the reigns from Dave who did such a fantastic job serving Bideford and the surrounding communities for all those years.”