Steve McNulty retires as captain of Morisset Fire and Rescue crew, ending a career of service to community

He's been shot at, chased by a man on a bulldozer, and abused at more backyard bonfire parties than he cares to recall.

Those are among of incidents that Steve McNulty won't miss in retirement.

What he will miss are the "saves" and the order that he would bring to chaotic situations and to people in distress in fires, car accidents, and other life-threatening emergencies.

Mr McNulty retired as Captain of Morisset Fire Station on Thursday, ending a 29-year career as a retained firefighter in the town.

"I'm 67, and my age is starting to show," Mr McNulty conceded on Friday.

"I'm not bouncing back like I used to, and that's not fair on the crew, so it's time to move on."

Mr McNulty said his job often meant reaching out to people who were having the worst day of their life.

Some times it didn't end well. But those times paled when compared to the good outcomes.

Related reading

"What I'll miss is helping genuine people who, through no fault of their own, have needed urgent assistance, and needed the impact of their situation to be reduced," he said.

"That's a good part of the job."

That sense of satisfaction from helping vulnerable people, making things safer, and restoring order has been evident in most of Mr McNulty's working life.

After a short stint in the army, Mr McNulty worked as a nurse at Morisset Hospital before continuing his training and becoming a registered nurse at Royal Newcastle Hospital, working mostly in operating theatres.

He went on to work as an intensive care paramedic with the the Ambulance Service of NSW and Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

"I was lucky, I came in at a good time," he said of his work as a paramedic.

"For the first 10 years it was full-on. As an intensive care paramedic I got to go to every type of major incident that was happening, and I got very skilled and worked with a good partner," he said.

It was experience that would stand Mr McNulty in good stead as he transitioned into work for Fire and Rescue NSW.

Mr McNulty handed in his uniform on Friday, and said he looked forward to overseas travel with his wife Jayne.

Making news