A FIREFIGHTER is hoping to carry on for 'years to come' after receiving an award for 35 years of service.

Peter McMullen was honoured for his long service as a retained crew member at Colne Fire Station.

The 65-year-old, who lives in nearby Broken Banks, said his time at the station had flown by.

The father-of-two said: "I cannot believe that I've been doing it for this long.

"I've enjoyed every minute of it and I'm planning to do it for a few years to come yet.

"It can be quite tiring and you can get stressed, but it' just been a great job to do.

"Looking back I have no regrets, I'd loved to do it all again.

"My grandkids always love to come down and see me at the station and have a sit in the engines."

The grandfather-of-two said one of the biggest fire he has dealt with was mill fire in Darwen in 2010, where more than 55 fire-fighters spent hours tackling grass fires.

He also highlighted a large blaze he called the the 'siege of Colne' at a mill around 30 years ago.

Mr McMullen also paid tribute to Lancashire Fire and Rescue service for their flexibility and personal support over the years.

He said: "A lot has changed, some for better, some for worse.

"We used to just get wellies and plastic pants to wear when we were off fighting fires.

"Everyone is definitely more health and safety conscious now.

"There's also a bigger team now.

"We see quite a few young lads coming through, and obviously its important to help them out wherever we can."

He was previously self-employed running a local delivery company but has decreased his hours to dedicate more time to the fire service in recent years.

Fellow long-serving firefighter Richard Taylor has worked with Mr McMullen for 33 years and awarded him his certificate and badge to mark his service.

The watch manager at Colne Fire Station Mr Taylor said: "You don't realise where the time goes.

"He must be one of the longest serving firefighters with Lancashire Fire and Rescue, I can't imagine many will have served for that long.

"I hope to see him reach the 40 year landmark, I don't want him to leave anytime soon.

"He's an old stalwart and he's been excellent for the team, we've been to so many fires together.

"It takes some doing being on call 24 hours a day seven days a week and he is so committed to the cause."