TWO decades worth of dedication to the fire service has been recognised.

Neil Smith recently receive d a long service and good conduct medal for two decades of service at Basingstok e fire station after serving as a retained firefighter for 20 years, saying he “still gets the buzz” for the work .

Mr Smith said as soon as he gets a call he still gets the same rush of adrenaline as he did on his first day.

He told The Gazette : “There is nothing like it, when yo u get that call you never know what the situation you are going to head into is going to be.

“I still get the buzz 20 years on, if I didn’t I don’t think I would still be doing this job.”

Mr Smith said that being a firefighter was something that he had always wanted to do , and had heard about the opportunity to become a retained firefighter.

Within his first week on the job he had been called to a house fire where a family had lost everything.

“This job may not be for the faint-hearted, but it does give you a new respect for life,” he added.

The whole of the north Hampshire fire group , which includes Basingstoke, Whi tchurch, Tadley and Odiham are currently recruiting new retained firefighters , and Mr Smith said he now takes on an ‘elder statesman ’ role .