Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) has welcomed 15 of its latest firefighters and seven of its newest Fire Control operators to the organisation at today’s Pass Out Ceremony at the Training and Development Academy (TDA).
The ceremony was a culmination of weeks of learning, development and progression – 16 weeks for the apprentice firefighters and 10 weeks for the apprentice Fire Control operators.
Across the four months, the firefighter recruit course included training on breathing apparatus, pumps and ladders, compartment fire behaviour, first response emergency care, road traffic collisions, compressed air foam systems, methods of entry, water rescue, working at height and hazardous material, as well as insights into National Resilience and Operational Assurance.
During the Fire Control recruit course, four weeks were spent at the TDA, gaining knowledge about MFRS, communication systems and the computerised mobilising system, and call handling training. The remaining six weeks were spent in the control room at Service Headquarters within an inclusive learning environment and eventually taking emergency calls.
High Sheriff of Merseyside Dr Ruth Hussey CB OBE DL, MFRS Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan, MFRS senior officers and family and friends of the recruits attended the Pass Out celebration, which included a drill display demonstration, presentations by the recruit firefighters, and presentation of certificates.
CFO Garrigan said: “I’m delighted that our recruits have successfully completed the most demanding training course in the UK fire and rescue service to become operational firefighters and control operators here in Merseyside. This training has been crucial in preparing them for the varied and challenging role ahead of them – which goes way beyond fighting fires or answering 999 calls. I am extremely proud of each and every one of them and I wish them a long and happy career with the Service we care so passionately about.”
The recruits of firefighter course 02/23 come from a variety of different backgrounds, including a former prison officer, PE teacher, bakery factory team leader and pipe fitter. Former occupations of Fire Control Course 01/23 and 02/23 include a small business owner, youth worker and bartender.
27-year-old Samantha Kennedy was named Top Recruit for firefighter course 02/23. Samantha was nominated by her peers and instructors alike, having excelled technically, academically and more importantly, through the values and behaviours she exhibited.
The firefighter recruits will now be posted to community fire stations across Merseyside to continue their apprenticeship training as firefighters in development until they become fully competent firefighters. Fire Control apprentices will enter the control room and start full shifts as operators.