A group of 20 new firefighter recruits have officially started their training with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) this week.
The successful recruits were among 720 hopefuls who responded to a large-scale recruitment campaign, run in October last year, by applying to become full-time firefighters.
After a challenging series of interviews and skills tests, 15 men and five women were successfully recruited and are now on the road to becoming full-time firefighters.
This week the team of trainees have embarked on a training programme, which begins with four weeks in Northamptonshire before they move on to spend eight weeks at Fire Service College in Gloucestershire.
They marked their first day (today/yesterday) by meeting Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Darren Dovey and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) Stephen Mold.
Each of the recruits was also presented with their new NFRS uniform as a formal start to the challenging training schedule which lies ahead.
CFO Darren Dovey said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the largest number of new, whole-time firefighter recruits to our Service for several years.
“The calibre of these men and women is extremely high and they have come a long way through the rigorous recruitment process to impress us with their skills, commitment and potential to reach the standards we expect of our firefighters.
“I wish all of these new entrants luck in their careers and I know they will quickly learn what makes being a firefighter one of the most rewarding paths you can choose to take in your professional life.”
The new starters will now spend one month in Northamptonshire, where they will initially be finding out all about NFRS as an organisation, learning more about prevention and community safety work, as well as visiting the Service’s key sites.
From there they will go to Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh, where they will be put through their paces learning skills ranging from the use of ladders in working safely at height, to firefighting techniques using breathing apparatus.
This round of recruitment, carried out in autumn 2019, came about due to funding from the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
Mr Mold said: “I am incredibly proud to welcome these new recruits to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service. They join the service at such an exciting time, when it is changing and investing in the future. It’s a privilege for me to have been able to support the largest recruitment drive our Fire Service has seen for many years and to enable the investment in the new equipment and technology that the service badly needs. I know that the firefighters joining us today will have a great career with NFRS and I have high hopes for the part they will all play in keeping our county safe.