History & Team
The company has grown to 45 employees and developed the skills and expertise to offer many other fire protection services and products, as well as becoming a leader in the supply and maintenance of fire extinguishers and fire alarms.
Firewatch was the first fire-protection company in Great Britain to gain approval for both of the BAFE schemes in the maintenance of fire extinguishers and fire alarms.
With over 2,500 customers based throughout the South West of England and South Wales, it has also recently expanded into the Midlands, ranging from small corner shops to major blue chip clients who all receive the Firewatch renowned quality of service.
The picture shows Martin with the original, Firewatch team of 1998, one of which still works in the business - farthest right is Graham Wyatt, who has trained to become an accomplished fire alarm engineer.
The Firewatch extinguisher team of 2004 of which 3 of the 5 technicians are still with us. Graham Wyatt, Steve Stubbs in the centre our Plymouth technician and Frankie Dunn second from right is our Cornwall technician.
Antony ‘Max’ Willey
Managing Director of Firewatch SW Ltd , joined Martin as Sales Director in 1999. A proud Cornishman, he moved to Devon in 1995, previously working as a colleague with Martin at Chubb Fire and Torex Hire in the late 80’s and mid 90’s.
Towards the end of 2015 Max and Kevin completed a retirement share purchase and became controlling shareholders of Firewatch SW Ltd.
Max has an extensive knowledge of the fire industry, calling on over 30 year’s experience, still very much hands on, advising clients in best practice for fire safety. Max’s wife Alison is a member of the administration team, he is an active member in the community and enjoys his two dogs and travelling around the UK in his motorhome. A keen football fan, both local football and his longstanding support of Leeds United FC.
Financial Director of Firewatch SW Ltd , joined Martin & Max in 2002 originally as office manager he was also a colleague when working as branch manager at Torex Hire.
Kevin is responsible for the administration office and IT requirements of the company as well as overseeing the subsidiary companies. Towards the end of 2015 Max and Kevin completed a retirement share purchase and became controlling shareholders of Firewatch SW Ltd.
A keen family man Kevin and his wife Julie enjoy walking and socialising with their friends. Kevin a season ticket holder with Exeter City FC and qualified referee , was for many years involved with children’s football, jointly setting up one of the largest amateur clubs in Exeter.
Chairman of Firewatch, co- founded Firewatch South West Ltdin 1998, with just 4 employees, originally just servicing and supplying fire extinguishers and fire products.
Martin, with his wife Jill, carried out an MBO in June of 1999 and the business has not looked back since. Firewatch is still very much a family run oriented business, with many family members of both directors and employees working in the business. At the end of 2015 Martin & Jill sold their majority shares to Max Willey & Kevin Smith, and are now enjoying semi-retirement.
Martin's enjoys spending time with his four grandchildren, supporting his hometown football club Leicester City FC, playing golf(badly) and poker. Along with Jill they both love to travel. He is President of the Rotary Club of Newton Abbot and a supporter of a number of local charities.
Towards the end of 2015 Roy was appointed to the board of directors, Roy joined Firewatch as an engineer in 2000 and has regularly been promoted. He was Group Operations Manager and is now Operations Director, effective from the beginning of January.
Roys main role is growing company sales but still oversees the Fire Alarm, Fire Extinguisher Division and Brunel Maintenance, a division of Firewatch.
Royston is a family man with five children and enjoys his free time with them and his wife Lisa, originally from the West Midlands, he has lived in Devon for over 15 years.
Paul is Fire Alarm Manager and works closely with Roy Blunt in the running of the division.
Paul is very much an ‘outdoor man’ and has participated in many extreme sports, often in the company of his two sons, but now settles for the more mundane sea kayaking!
And in keeping with the Firewatch 'family' tradition, Pauls son Joe is a member of the Brunel Maintenance team.
Mark originally joined us as a fire extinguisher technician, calling on his ability to promote the company and his selling acumen and he has now progressed to Area Manager South, overseeing the day to day running of the Devon & Cornwall based engineers. Along with that he heads our Training Division and regular runs training along with Stephen Chancellor.
Originally from the Midlands, Mark and his wife moved down the the Westcountry in 2010, and have a young son. A talented musician Mark has sung to crowds of over 22,000, and can often be seen compering at various Firewatch events. Mark enjoys watersports, and can often be seen out on his jet ski. He also completed a 360 mile cycle ride in 2015, with colleague and good friend Mark Hooks in aid of Cancer Research.
Area Sales Manager North, joined originally as a fire extinguisher technician in 2003 and has managed the fire training division for the last three years. Simon also carries out Fire Risk Assessments.
As a major accounts manager, he ensures that our clients have regular contact and that all their requirements are fulfilled.
Simon is very busy in his spare time, training and showing his 8 dogs - Simon travels the world to show his dogs, and spends many hours exercising them on wheeled rigs.
A qualified plumber Matt joined Firewatch in 2010 and trained to become a fire extinguisher technician, quickly passing his exams and becoming a BAFE licensed extinguisher technician. Matt has transferred from the Firewatch extinguisher service team to become our third in-house fire risk assessor.
Matt successfully completed his Fire Protection Association fire risk assessor’s course earlier in the year, with in-house instruction from Group Operations Manager Roy Blunt who has many years’ experience in fire risk assessment.
Matt is a keen golfer & footballer, and supports Manchester United FC. He is also renovating his house, alongside his wife Leanne who is daughter to Max Willey.
Jo joined us in 2013 as Fire Alarm Administrator, and has proved to be an invaluable member of the alarm team. She runs the engineers day to day work, and assists Paul Robinson in managing the department.
Jo has just finished renovating her house with her fiance Matt, and in her spare time enjoys kick boxing.
Paul joined the company in 2006 as a Fire Alarm Installation engineer and has worked his way up to Alarm Technical Manager. He is very hands on, and is often out assisting the engineers on site.
Paul is a very good baker, and is often coerced by the admin team to bring in his fine examples of quiche, cakes and tarts!
Pictures L - R
Emma Moore - Emma joined in 2008 and is our Credit Controller, and has recently been promoted to Office Supervisor
Kirsty Meredith - Kirsty has been with us since 2011 and is our Office Assistant, filling a variety of roles. Her Father Ernie Criddle is our storeman.
Nikki Abbott - Nikki joined the company in 2011, and runs the administration department for the Alarm Division.
Becky Lawlor - is daughter of Martin and her husband Gary works as an extinguisher technician. Becky is an office administrator. Becky has been an employee since 2006.
Amber Henworth - Amber joined us in January 2016 as an Administration Assistant.
Emma Fuller - is daughter of Martin, and is Marketing Assistant; she has been employed by the FWG group since 2001.
Alison Willey - is wife of Max Willey (MD) and is an office administrator. Alison has been part of the team since 2008.
Martine Sowten - Martine is our Receptionist/Administration Assistant and normally the voice on the end of the phone when you call in. Martine is one of the longer serving employees and has been here for almost 10 years. Her husband Ernie is one of our Alarm Engineers.