Ten transferees were welcomed to the Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue family by Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold today.
The ten firefighters will be split between the stations at Daventry and Rushden, having recently completed their training at Chelveston. The new intake was given a tour of the new fire HQ at Darby House in Wellingborough on Wednesday (May 12) before heading to their new stations for the first time.
For Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey, the new intake represents an important boost to the resources that will be available to help keep the Northamptonshire community safe.
He said: “We’re delighted to welcome these new transferees. Some have come from on-call service into wholetime and some have come from other brigades – which is good for us because it shows we can attract new and talented people into the organisation.
“They will help Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service enhance both our response operations but also to help us deliver more prevention across the whole of the county in order for us to keep everyone as safe as we possibly can.”
The transferees were also welcomed by newly re-elected Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, who has funded the positions on top of 20 that were already needed earlier this year to replace outgoing staff.
Mr Mold said: “It’s really exciting today to welcome ten new recruits to Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service. We made a commitment to the people of Northamptonshire that we would make them even safer. It’s really pleasing to hear these new recruits say they joined us because the fire service is on the move and is a good place to come and work.”
Of the ten starters, three had served as on-call firefighters in Northamptonshire but wanted to make the role full-time – while seven have moved from other services in the country such as Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Oxfordshire.
It also offers an alternative job path for many of them, with previous careers of the new intake including spells working in logistics, the food industry and the Royal Air Force.
Laurence Jennings, 36, has started as a wholetime firefighter at Rushden after previously being on-call in Oxfordshire. Having primarily worked in marketing for 15 years, Laurence has decided to tread an entirely new path.
He said: “I have a background in corporate business and then I joined on-call and it helped me to realise that my aspiration was to do something different to the laptop and deskbound job.
“I absolutely loved being on-call and I decided to pursue it full-time and that’s what led to me moving here to Northamptonshire.”
And Josh Gamble, 23, is joining Daventry Fire Station after a temporary spell as a wholetime firefighter in Staffordshire.
He added: “I’ve wanted to be a firefighter for my whole life. When the opportunity arose, it was clear that Northamptonshire was a rapidly growing organisation that’s only going one way. I did some research on the area and the organisation, and it’s perfect for me as there’s lots of opportunity for progression and it’s on the up.”
Having already served as firefighters with varying degrees of experience, the new transferees had already undergone high quality training. But they all attended courses at the fire training centre in Chelveston to bring them up to speed for service in Northamptonshire.
Training phases include tactical ventilation with PPV fans, RTC familiarisation, search and rescue, ultra high pressure training and getting used to the breathing apparatus used by crews in Northants, enabling them to be able to quickly adapt to attending incidents in the county.
Chris Westfield, watch manager instructor at Chelveston, said: “We try to create, as best as we can, work related scenarios. We have training rigs here to help people be as safe as they possibly can.
“Now they have completed their training they will join the fire stations in Rushden and Daventry, which I know they are really looking forward to – and the crews are looking forward to welcoming them as well.”
A further two recruits are expected to join the ten new additions shortly. Further opportunities to join Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service are expected to arise later this year.