Piper plays long-serving Bo'ness firefighter into retirement

A long serving firefighter was surprised to find a piper waiting at the station to play him out at the end of his last ever shift.

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 10:46 am

Crew commander Michael – known as Mike – Sherdley (54) has been with blue watch at Bo’ness Fire Station for the last seven years and has been in the fire service for almost 30.

The leaving ceremony, featuring piper Gordon Fisher, was organised by Mike’s colleagues to pay tribute to his long career and commitment to the service.

He said: “It was really great – a brilliant way to finish a career. I really appreciate the effort everyone put in to put it all together.”

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Bo'ness Fire Station holds a special retirement ceremony for 30-year blue watch firefighter Michael Sherdley, pictured with wife Jeni, piper Gordon Fisher and blue watch colleagues

Mike, born and brought up south of the border, left school at 16.

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In 1987 he joined the Kings Own Royal Borders Regiment at the age of 19 and served in tours of Cyprus and Northern Ireland before leaving the army as a Lance Corporal and making it his mission in life to join the fire service.

He was accepted in 1994 and started his training in January 1995.

Soon after starting his career with Cumbria Fire Service, he met his future wife Jeni, who comes from Bo’ness, while on holiday and after a brief long distance relationship decided to come up and live with her north of the border.

The couple went on to have three children and their family has grown to include one grandson, Charlie (2), and a granddaughter who is due to enter the world next week.

Mike initially joined Edinburgh Crewe Toll fire station and after several years at different stations and different watches he made the move to Bo’ness where he spent the remainder of his career.

He said: “I will miss the people I worked with – that’s a big part of it. It is a job that is different every day because you don’t know what to expect. There are challenges you have to face and I got a lot of satisfaction from the job.

"There have been dark times, but I have found it rewarding. The guys and girls I have worked with over the years have made it special.”

Mike plans to take it easy for a while and get treatment for an injured knee. He plans to spend more time with his grandchildren.

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