Reg Haley’s career began when, after military service, he joined the NFS in Sheffield in 1946, then in 1959 moved to Rotherham as a Station Officer. In 1961 he was promoted to the Fire Service College at Dorking as Senior Scientific Instructor; 1964 to Lancashire (DO); 1965 ACFO Staffordshire; 1968 DCFO; and then in 1973 as CFO Bedfordshire until his retirement in 1985.
Reg served for many years on the IFE Executive and was elected International IFE President 1980-81. After his term on the Board of Directors ended, he continued his work as a marker for the Institution’s examinations for well over 25 years. He held a particularly special place, having set and marked questions for the longer than all other markers. It was a voluntary task of course and his dedication, through the IFE, to young fire people was remarkable. In fact, his retirement from the work was signified at the session closure event, the Markers’ Dinner, when he received from the then Chairman of the Examinations Committee, Dr Bob Docherty, a fountain pen on behalf of IFE as a gesture of the IFE’s thanks.
His other great love was history and he spent hours in the UK Fire Service College library researching the past activities of the Fire and Rescue Service and seeking with others, like the Fire Services National Museum Trust Museum, to maintain a collective history. His knowledge of British Fire and Rescue Services was unsurpassed.
As a Trustee of the Museum Trust, Reg came across a piece of music called the ‘March of the Fire Brigades’ written by Sir Henry Walford Davies especially for the opening of the old London Fire Brigade Headquarters. Walford Davies composed only two marches throughout his career, the other one being the RAF march when he was their Director of Music. Reg’s find was brought to the attention of a number of Fire Service bands many of whom still play the march.
In later years, Reg undertook much of the research to create the Book of Remembrance now located in the Chapel at the Fire Service College. Reg Haley was a quiet, unsung contributor and tireless supporter of the IFE. He will be sadly missed.