December 21 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, January 10, 2013
FIREFIGHTERS past and present formed a Guard of Honour at the funeral of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue’s longest-serving fire chief today.
Firefighters and service personnel joined the family and friends of Alan Gray to pay tribute to his life in a packed-out All Saints Church, in Sawtry.
Alan was chief fire officer from 1987 until 2000 – the longest serving in Cambridgeshire’s history. The father-of-two from Sawtry died on December 20.
Four pallbearers carrying the coffin, which had the Service’s flag and Alan’s cap placed on it, were met at the church by a Guard of Honour of more than 20 current fire service staff.
Tributes were paid by Brian Spencer and Roger Munsey and prayers were read, including The Fireman’s Prayer.
Maurice Moore, the fire service’s area commander, said: “A number of former and serving fire service personnel gathered to pay their respects to Alan Gray and were joined by fire officers from all over the country to acknowledge the passing of an inspirational and extraordinary chief fire officer.
“There were moving tributes paid to Alan in his professional capacity, reflecting his compassion and commitment to the communities of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
“A guard of honour of current officers and firefighters, together with politicians and members of the community, contributed to what was a fitting tribute to a man that gave so much of his life to the Fire Service.”
Paying tribute to Alan, Mr Moore said: “Alan was instrumental in the development of the Service throughout the 1990s, bringing in new ideas and
“He was particularly passionate about supporting the staff working on the frontline at fire stations and introduced novel approaches to management, some of which were adopted nationally.”
Alan moved to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service from London Fire Brigade as deputy chief fire officer before becoming chief fire officer in 1987.