National Association of Retired Firefighters
The National Association of Retired Firefighters was founded in 1968 to look after the interests of retired Firefighters, something that it continues to do to this very day with approximately 8000 members across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
When you’re part of an organisation like the Fire Service or indeed from whatever work environment you belong to, you have the safety and security of knowing that if something were to go wrong in your personal or professional life, you should be able to call on help and support from within that organisation to help you through any problems. However, once you retire from and leave your employment, it can sometimes leave you feeling alone, isolated and quite vulnerable, because it’s sometimes difficult to know who to turn to if you’re in need of support. This is where being a member of NARF can help, because within the organisation there is a lot of expert help available that can offer support and guidance on a wide range of subjects from pensions advice to getting help for you or a member of your immediate family for things like physiotherapy or just plain rest and recuperation and you can be guided to that support by a branch or national official depending on your type of membership.
There is also another side to being part of a retired members group and many might say is THE most important aspect of being a retired member and that is maintaining the social aspect of being retired.
The camaraderie of being able to keep in touch with past colleagues from the service and also being able to be kept informed of the developments that are taking place within the service that we were all once a part of is very important. It’s also important to be kept informed of things like members who will be retiring shortly and also those who have sadly passed on. These are all features of being a part of a retired members group that helps people to feel part of the family again. Every branch holds regular meetings, where past colleagues can have a ‘Get together’ once again and have a chat with old comrades who still share a passion for the service they dedicated their lives to, have a couple of pints and put a few fires out. As the secretary of my branch of NARF, I can say with some confidence that it really does people good to socialise with each other and for me to see thirty or forty members together coming together at meetings, seeing them laughing and sharing memories and catching up with each other again is very satisfying and for me is the key to what NARF is all about. There are those of course who, once they leave their employment, don’t wish to communicate with anyone and if that’s how they feel, that’s fine, but in my experience the vast majority of retired people still want to stay in the loop AND in the family.
If you’d like to join NARF, it’s very easy and remember, it’s not just open to retired Firefighters, it’s open to ALL retired Fire Service Personnel, both uniformed and non uniformed staff from whatever department you used to work in. I have ex Control staff, mechanics and office support staff who regularly attend meetings.
You can join NARF via the website at www.narfire. org.uk or visit us on Facebook. As a member you’ll get access to help, support and guidance on a wide range of topics and you’ll also receive a copy of the NARF News three times a year, which is informative and interesting. Join now, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Written by Ian Ferguson. Editor of the NARF News