Maitland has lost a fire fighting legend.
Ron Jarrett passed away on Thursday, April 1 after a courageous, yet short battle with pancreatic cancer.
He was 85.
Mr Jarrett, of Rutherford, was a much respected fire officer and member of the Maitland community working for several years at former Maitland hardware store Cappers before spending most of his of his working life at National Textiles, formerly Bradmill.
But it was his role as a volunteer fire fighter that was his true love and passion.
Mr Jarrett joined Maitland Fire Brigade in April 1954. He was appointed captain of that brigade in July 1965 and in April 1969 received the NSW Fire Brigade's medal for 15 years long service.
In 1975 he received the Queen's Long Service medal for 20 years service.
In June 1975 he transferred to Telarah and was appointed engine keeper there in 1980.
In July 1985 Mr Jarrett received a long service and good conduct medal and a national medal for his service in June 1990.
More awards followed in 1995, 2004 and 2005 for meritorious service as well as good conduct and long service.
In total Mr Jarrett served 55 years and four months with Fire and Rescue NSW.
NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner Paul Baxter said Mr Jarrett rendered good and faithful service to the people of NSW for more than 55 years.
"Ron served until his retirement on August 15, 2009," Commissioner Baxter said
Mr Jarrett was at the forefront of many major city fires including the 1970 Cappers Hardware store fire in High Street, Maitland and the Caines margarine factory fire. He received a commissioner's commendation for his meritorious actions for his role rescuing a Windella Family from their home which was engulfed in fire.
Mr Jarrett's actions were recognised at a civic level when he was nominated in 2008 for Maitland Citizen of the Year. His continued his dedicated volunteer service while juggling full-time work and raising a family earned him the honour.
Mr Jarrett is survived by his wife of 58 years Helen, his children Warren, Jane and Linda and his many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He will be farewelled on Friday, April 9 at St Mary's Church, Maitland at 11am - the same church in which he and Mrs Jarrett wed.