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Don hangs up his fire hat

IF THE HAT FITS, WEAR IT: Young NSW Fire and Rescue firefighter Ryan Terry will be strapping on the new captain’s helmet as of midnight tonight as Don Smyth steps down after 40 years, five of those as captain. “I’m shining my boots for the last time,” Young NSW Fire and Rescue captain Don Smyth said as he prepared for his photo with The Young Witness on Wednesday.
Nanjing Night Net

The local firefighter is hanging up his helmet and uniform for the last time today, retiring from the service after 40 years – five of which he captained.

As of midnight tonight his deputy captain Ryan Terry will be stepping into the role, for which Don’s been preparing him over the past two years.

“I’d like to congratulate Ryan for stepping up to the task. I believe the town will be in good hands,” Don said.

“Both Ryan and all the crew are well trained and they have plans to keep on the training.”

Don – who was born and bred in Young – has attended some 6000 fires over the four decades and has been the engine keeper for 10 years.

An official farewell will be held for Don in February – following which The Witness will publish a full story on his days as a firie.

The father of three and grandfather won’t be completely disappearing from Young’s scene – instead he’ll be using his spare time to continue his business, travel, fish and get to know his grandkids better.

Ryan – also born and raising his young family in Young – joined the brigade in 2006, spending the last two years as deputy captain.

“I’m excited to be able to lead such a great crew and help the community in any way,” Ryan said.

“And I’m excited for Don to have a break after 40 years.”

He said he was looking forward to the challenge and working with the community and other emergency services.

His focus at the moment is on improving their in-house training.

“I’m looking forward to getting the boys trained up and moulding them – in the last two years, we’ve had six new recruits with two or three to come,” Ryan said.

“I want to do more training outside what we do – that’ll be a big thing.”

One thing he said he’d love to implement in the near future is the greater use of FaceTime and the upgrade of technology for the brigade.

He discovered the big benefits of having an iPhone and using FaceTime during the Turners Furniture One fire on September 25.

While face-to-face with his fire inspector in Mittagong, Ryan was able to show what was actually happening on the ground, instead of verbally describing the conditions.

“Because we’re so remote… once we did face time it was a lot easier… it worked really well and I’d like to push this,” he said.

“This was my first major incident [as incident controller], this was what they call a fifth alarm, most house fires are one alarm.”

IF THE HAT FITS, WEAR IT: Young NSW Fire and Rescue firefighter Ryan Terry will be strapping on the new captain’s helmet as of midnight tonight as Don Smyth steps down after 40 years, five of those as captain.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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