FIRE CALL: Popular Connie Kelly has answered his last fire call after 27 years of service at Killarney Fire Station.
By Sean Moriarty
Killarney Fire Station Sub Station officer Connie Kelly retired this week after 27 years of service.
A second-generation firefighter, his father Mossie served with Killarney Fire Station too. Connie started his career as a volunteer with the Kerry branch of the Civil Defence.
He joined the service as a retained fire officer on December 1, 1993 and worked his way up to Sub Station officer until his retirement this week.
“I have seen a lot of changes in my time,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “The equipment has changed so much. In the start we could be cutting people out of crashed cars with little more than a hacksaw. The hydraulic equipment changed everything and even that improved too over the years.”
Connie said he won’t miss getting up in the middle of the night to answer emergency calls but will miss the comradery of his station colleagues.
“They become your best friends,” he added. “Special thanks to my wife Lucy who put up with all the difficulties over the years. Being on call all the time is the hardest.”
Despite being a retained fire officer, Connie maintained his job at the Post Office on New St.
His An Post manager Terry Potts is the son of former Dublin District Fire Commander, the late Terry Sr.
“Terry always had a great understanding and was very pro-fire brigade, even when I had to drop everything to answer a call.”
Connie is also well-known in motorcycle circles in the Killarney area.