Memories set ablaze for Eric as firefighters attend his care home

Eric Cross with firefighters

Eric Cross with firefighters - Credit: Archant

Retired firefighter Eric Cross shook the dust off his overalls and put his hard hat back on for one last time when North Herts firefighters visited him at Jubilee Court care home in Stevenage.

Eric Cross with firefighters

Eric Cross with firefighters - Credit: Archant

Eric who is 88 and suffers from dementia, first joined the fire service in 1959 as Station Officer based in Tottenham.

His career spanned almost 25 years until his retirement as station officer in Barnet in 1983. He received a coveted mounted firefighter’s axe, awarded to him by the London Fire Brigade White Watch, which he proudly shows off in his room at Jubilee Court

The home’s activity co-ordinator Ian Chambers came up with the idea to call the fire brigade to Jubilee Court.

He said: “I have never seen Eric so animated and totally engrossed in talking with the firemen today, his memory of his work in the fire service all came flooding back like it was yesterday. It’s days like today that make my job so worthwhile.”

Eric Cross with firefighters

Eric Cross with firefighters - Credit: Archant


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Eric enjoyed a tour of the fire engine and the crew spoke in detail with Eric and other residents and staff about how the fire service and equipment has developed over the years. Once back in the warm, Eric’s told his stories about his long career over a cup of tea to finish off the afternoon nicely.

Eric has been at the care home in Stevenage for eight months, since moving from his home in Ware.

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He has two sons, Ian and David Cross, who were both able to enjoy the afternoon with their father. Coincidently, both have followed their father’s footsteps and have careers in the emergency service,

Ian is a firefighter in Luton, and David works as a paramedic for the London’s Air Ambulance.

Jubilee Court is owned by Quantum Care, a not-for-profit company that provides a range of care services for more than 2,000 older people. The company has 26 purpose built care homes across Hertfordshire.

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