Six years after retiring from the British fire service, Carvoeiro resident Steve Whitehorn is back in uniform – this time for the local bombeiros. Steve, his wife Mandy and son Billy relocated to the Algarve from London after Steve retired. During his 27 years of service, he was awarded a medal for long service and good conduct, as well as the Queen’s Jubilee medal, which was issued to loyal firemen who had been with the service for five years or more. Despite moving to the Algarve for a quieter life, Steve has found it hard to hang up his fireman’s hat and has been involved in many recent fundraising events for the local bombeiros. “I missed my job,” he explained, “and I wanted to give something back to the community that I’ve been living in for six years.”
Finally, fundraising was not enough and Steve has now joined the voluntary arm of the Lagoa bombeiros and been offered a rank. It is extremely unusual for a British fireman to join the Portuguese firefighting service and the Whitehorns are very proud. “Gabriel, the lieutenant in Lagoa, has been really helpful,” Steve explained. “I was concerned that I may not be of any use because of the language barrier, but he assured me that it was not a problem and now I’m looking forward to joining in as soon as my uniform is fitted.”
If you want to support the bombeiros and help raise funds for their volunteer service, you can join in the fun at the upcoming St Valentine’s dinner and dance. To find out more about the event, call Mandy or Steve on 916 450 717.