One of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service's most popular officers has retired after 30 years' service.

Area Manager Brian Robson, who most recently headed up the Operational Preparedness department, has had a number of high profile and challenging roles during his career. Brian's first posting was at Brighouse Fire Station in 1982, but he has also served as a firefighter at a number of other stations, including Todmorden, South Elmsall and Knottingley. He has worked in fire safety publicity as the brigade's school liaison officer, where he formed a double act with the popular fire safety mascot Wellyphant, he worked at training school and he was also posted to Bradford Fire Station as commander during some of the city's most challenging times during the riots.

Brian was promoted to Area Manager in charge of community safety in 2005, where he developed the brigade's prevention agenda to become the "outstanding success" it is today, a spokesperson told FIRE. He was then transferred to Operational Preparedness in 2010.

During his career Brian, who is from Brighouse, has attended a number of large incidents, including the Linthwaite Grosvenor Chemicals fire in 2010, and many large mill fires including Woodvale Mills in Brighouse in 1988.

Brian has also worked closely with blue light colleagues at West Yorkshire Police and Yorkshire Ambulance Service, particularly to develop the service's casualty care agenda. He has also acted as media spokesman and ambassador for the brigade on a number of occasions at high profile incidents as well as many safety campaigns.

Brian is also chairman of the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Band - a role he will remain in - and he is heavily involved in the organisation of the Emergency Services Show.

"My time at Bradford Fire Station was very challenging," said Brian, "but it was a real highlight of my career. It was a time when partnership work was starting to gather pace.

"I am most proud of the time I spent in community safety. Its huge success was very much a team effort. I have had a fantastic career and I would like to thank everyone I have worked with over the years for their hard work and support. It really is the best job in the world."

Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling said: "Brian has been a fantastic ambassador for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service over the past 30 years. His drive, enthusiasm and communication skills are second to none. I speak for the whole organisation when I say he will be missed and we wish him a very long and happy retirement."

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Posted January 19th, 2012 at 1045 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: