A HUDDERSFIELD fire station officer who has retired after 30 years' service has a simple message for his bosses: No more cuts.
Station Officer Alvin Crisp has spent about two-thirds of his service in Huddersfield and has seen many changes.
But he believes there is no more room for any further cuts in the town.
Alvin, 53, of Oakes - who is to become a fire safety consultant - said when he joined the fire service in Huddersfield in 1974 there were 28 firefighters with seven fire engines based at the station on Outcote Bank.
Now there are 16 firefighters on a shift with two fire engines and a hydraulic platform - with the latest life-saving equipment on board.
"It would be easy to conclude that in the quest for modernisation and cost efficiencies, the people of Huddersfield have a poorer service now than in 1974," he said.
"I have to say this is not true.
"Although I would be concerned about any further reductions in operational firefighters, it is fair to say that Huddersfield is served by a very dedicated and highly-skilled firefighting and rescue force that has access to a whole range of specialist equipment that was just not available in the early 70s.
"Then we used saws and chisels to take cars apart after road accidents.
"Now with the latest hydraulic cutting gear we can remove a roof in a couple of minutes.
"But no matter how advanced the technology, we still need the firefighters to use it and we can't do with any less at Huddersfield."
The worst moment in his career came in 1987 when he was sent to tackle a blaze at a cafe on Bradford Road in Fartown.
A floor collapsed and one of his colleagues plunged into the cellar below which was a pit of flames.
The man managed to clamber up a ladder, but was badly burned in the inferno and lost most of his fingers.
Alvin said: "He had a very good career in front of him, but was only in his mid 20s when this happened.
"Incidents like this certainly focus the mind on the dangers of the job. A floor could collapse, you could be caught in a flashover, ceilings could come down."
Alvin was injured once on duty when he was tackling a building blaze in the early hours.
He needed to run to the corner of the building - but someone had dug a deep trench outside, which was unmarked.
Alvin plunged down and suffered chest and leg injuries which put him out of action for several months.
Yet his career has had its funny moments.
His crew was called to a house fire and had to bang on the door when they got there.
A man stuck his head out of the window and insisted there was no fire - as smoke billowed out behind his head.
Then there was the posh bloke who complained about the noise when crews were called to tackle a van fire near his home.
In his dressing gown and slippers he said the water pump on the fire engine was making too much noise and he couldn't sleep.
Pointing at the engine, he said: "Turn that thing down!"
Alvin said: "It was like something out of Fawlty Towers so I told him we'd thrash the engine within an inch of its life."
A woman then turned up and said the man had complained to her when she first moved there and hung her washing out.
She told the crew: "He said we don't hang here, we tumble dry."
Alvin is married to Patricia and the couple have three children and six grandchildren.