Woolgoolga fire chief calls time
WOOLGOOLGA fire captain Ray Webb has retired after serving as a firefighter for more than three decades.
Mr Webb joined the NSW Fire Brigade in 1984 and was appointed captain at Woolgoolga Fire Station in 2002.
Mr Webb said witnessing the advancement of the Woolgoolga station was the highlight of his time as a firefighter.
"We've gone from being a single-appliance station to a two-appliance station and being a primary rescue unit covering the area from Wells Crossing to Moonee Beach," Mr Webb said.
"It has changed over the years.
"Years ago we used to be basically a volunteer brigade and we're now a fully professional brigade working the same as the professionals in the permanent brigades such as Coffs Harbour and Sydney."
Mr Webb said he plans to remain in Woolgoolga and continue working his primary job with the Roads and Maritime Service in Coffs Harbour.
"I won't be going anywhere," he said.
"I'm one of the two at the brigade that were born and bred in Woolgoolga."
"It was fantastic because at one stage both the captain and one of the deputies were both born-and-bred locals."
Mr Webb was confident his retirement will not impact operations at the fire station.
"It's a very professional station dealing with not only fires, rescues and hazmat but also community education," he said.
"It has very good back-up leadership in the form of Drew Armitage and Darren Atkins.
"It has a very strong team."
After hanging up his helmet last week, Mr Webb said he was looking forward to spending more time with his family.
"I've enjoyed the last 31 years, learnt a lot out of it and put a lot back in the community," he said.
"Now (the focus is) mainly just to concentrate on family life and getting out and doing a few things that I haven't been able to do."