Firefighter Mark Holland has retired from his role tackling fires and floods after six years.

Mr Holland joined the On Call crew at Abingdon fire station in May 2018.

While he is leaving his on call role, he is continuing to work for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service as a communications specialist.

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Mr Holland, 49, who lives in the town with wife Stephanie, and son Noah, said: "I thought it was time I left the on call role - now I can get some sleep at night!

"I would recommend becoming a firefighter to anyone - especially if you are young.

"It gives you so many life skills, discipline and fulfilment."

Oxford Mail: Firefighter Mark HollandOver the years Mr Holland has tackled numerous fires and flooding incidents - some of them near his home.

Based in Kidlington, he usually cycles to work in Abingdon. 

Abingdon fire station is in Ock Street.

For more information about becoming a firefighter visit:

"It usually takes me an hour to get there - it's a 30-mile round trip," Mr Holland added.

Abingdon fire station's watch manager Rod Dacombe has wished Mr Holland all the best for the future on Facebook.

He wrote: "Bringing a wealth of experience from a long career in the army, Mark quickly became an integral part of the crew.

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"He passed his breathing apparatus qualification in December 2018, became an emergency response driver in 2019, and a BA team leader in 2021, a testament to the hard work he has put into developing his skills and contributing to the safety of his community.

Oxford Mail: Mark Holland attends a blaze"But Mark’s role at Abingdon has been about far more than this.

"At incidents, during training exercises, or more simply around the station, Mark has been a mentor to newer members of the crew and has been central to the development of the On Call crew at Abingdon and to the success of the station more widely.

"This includes a strong commitment to the station’s charitable activities, including acting as one of the driving forces for last year’s charity bike ride, which raised over £1500 for The Fire Fighters Charity.

"We will miss Mark’s friendly face around the station and his calm and reassuring presence at incidents. He will always be part of our crew at Abingdon."

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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