Huntingdon’s new station commander looks ahead to challenges of firefighting in rural area

Per Middleton

Per Middleton - Credit: Archant

Per Middleton says working in a rural area, unlike his previous position, will come with its own challenges.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service have appointed Mr Middleton as the new station commander for Huntingdon.

Prior to taking charge of the Huntingdon fire crews, station commander Middleton was the watch commander at Parkside Place Community Fire Station, Cambridge, where he fulfilled his dream.

He said: “Growing up in Suffolk it has always been a dream of mine to ride a fire engine through Cambridge and I realised that whilst at Parkside.

Having begun his career, at the age of 18, as a retained – or part-time – firefighter in Bury St Edmunds for the Greene King Brewery in the market town, Mr Middleton went onto join the on call crew for the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

“Then I joined the London Fire Brigade which is extremely different to the Cambridgeshire service in terms of the type of call outs.

“I then transferred across to the Cambridgeshire force and have been at Huntingdon since August and have been getting to know everybody since. It is a fantastic place to work,” added station commander Middleton.

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Station commander Middleton dreamt of being a firefighter since he was a child and was asked what he wanted to do by teachers.

“My dad was in the services for 30 years and was the reason that I have thought about joining the fire service.

“He came to my pass out parade for when I became station commander which was a really proud moment for me.”

Despite not being for the area, station commander Middleton is looking forward to getting out in the community and interacting with residents.

“Me and some of the crew will be going to the Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital on Christmas Eve, with the mayor of Huntingdon Councillor Bill Hensley, to give the children in the ward presents from the community.

“We also hope to hold some open days at the station so that the public can take a look round and see what we do here.”

Mr Middleton will also be exploring Huntingdonshire with his wife and children.

“It is a lovely area and as I have been getting to know Huntingdon I would like to go out and discover more places over the weekends.”

After settling into his role station commander Middleton hopes to be able to work with businesses to make the station more proactive.