St Albans fire commander retiring after a memorable career

Firefighter Ian Malkwell at his leaving parade after 30 years of service

Firefighter Ian Malkwell at his leaving parade after 30 years of service - Credit: Archant

A district commander who served the fire service for more than 30 years is leaving following an eventful career.

Ian Markwell, 50, of Marshalswick, St Albans, has attended various notorious local incidents including the Buncefield explosion, Potters Bar train crash and the Hatfield rail disaster during his 30-plus years.

He is leaving to concentrate on family and volunteering, but is very proud of his time in the fire service.

Ian said: “I’ve been fortunate, or unfortunate, enough to attend three major incidents in my career.

“All of them posed different challenges but they could all certainly be considered low points.”


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Ian has also been part of a shift in the role of the fire service in the local community, particularly with youth groups.

He added: “Some of my happiest memories are around seeing joy on the faces of young people at our fire stations.”

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Despite working across the country, Ian has a particular affiliation with St Albans as it is where he began his career.

Ian said: “I can recall driving around the notorious one-way system in St Albans.”

He returned to the district for a small period in 2000 and helped move the fire station to its current location in London Road.

“Moving 52 firefighters, four fire appliances and all of the associated equipment was certainly an experience,” Ian added.

It was in 2012 that he returned again to become the district commander.

He said: “I am proud to have served in my home city and will miss all of those I have worked with along the way.”

Ian will continue to work on a regular basis and will volunteer at Earthworks, which helps with conservation work.

“I will also be looking to spend some more time with my family over the summer - whether they like it or not.”

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