A RETIRING fireman is determined to continue serving his community after 30 years of saving lives.

Colin Moran from Unsworth joined the fire and rescue service when he was aged 21, and has served at fire stations throughout the region during a varied career.

He is now stepping down and a retirement parade and axe presentation was held for Mr Moran at Heywood fire station, where he has spent the last 11 years as a watch manager.

The 51-year-old, former Unsworth High School pupil, said: "It has been an interesting career to say the least and I have been on some high profile incidents.

"Being a firefighter is one of those jobs that I always wanted to do. It was always an ambition of mine to help people, and the job has been very rewarding in that respect."

Over the years, all of which he spent on operational duty, Mr Moran has attended some of the biggest incidents across Greater Manchester, including the enormous Maple Mill fire in Oldham and the IRA bomb attacks on Manchester in the early 1990s.

He was also present at the 2002 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony in Philips Park, Manchester, and was drafted to London to help after the River Thames burst its bank in 2016.

However, Mr Moran says the job has changed "hugely" over the decades with technology and uniforms moving on in leaps and bounds, and fire engines becoming a lot faster and more comfortable.

He added: "The job has changed massively since I started out.

"There have been cuts in crew levels and its not the job it was. But it will be the best job in the world for anyone willing to do it."

But even after 30 years of public service Mr Moran has no plans to slow down and intends to put his skills and passion to good use in his home town.

Mr Moran is hoping to take up a community support role for the North West Ambulance Service, alongside a part time job.

He is also looking forward to spending more time with his his wife Catherine and two children, Luke, aged 12, and Amber, aged 9.