A YOUNG apprentice who recently joined Greater
Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has already got her eye
on climbing up the ranks after spending a day with the Chief Fire
Sixteen-year-old Caitlin Alcock joined GMFRS in October 2012 as
a trainee community safety advisor along with 11 others who took
their first steps on to the career ladder in the first
apprenticeship scheme offered by the Service.
The group has recently competed against apprentices from other
fire and rescue services in the Brathay Challenge - which involved
them taking part in a number of tasks that allowed them to showcase
their community work and willingness to learn new skills, such as
by job shadowing colleagues.
Caitlin said: "I had the opportunity to take part in a job swap
as part of the challenge and was extremely excited and nervous as I
requested to spend time with Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Steve
"I had an excellent day with the Chief who had planned to spend
the day at Oldham Borough.
"We started off at Chadderton Fire Station where we received a
warm welcome before sitting down to talk with various members of
"Borough Manager Kev Talbot was good enough to give me a guided
tour of the area while driving around Oldham, and I was made to
feel at home by everyone I came across and really enjoyed the
experience. I look forward to visiting there again!
"Later we journeyed to the front lines to meet firefighters
where they had the opportunity to ask the Chief any questions they
had around the upcoming changes to the Service.
"What a fantastic day it was and I can't believe how much I
learned. To be allowed the chance to shadow Steve was just
brilliant - but don't worry boss I won't be replacing you just
GMFRS' County Fire Officer and Chief Executive, Steve McGuirk,
said: "We're delighted to be able to give Caitlin and the others a
chance by launching the apprenticeship scheme at GMFRS.
"By working with Salford City College the skills they acquire
will give them something they can use in a future career - either
at GMFRS or elsewhere."
The apprentices' fantastic efforts during the challenge, and
day-to-day activity since then, have been communicated to the
outside world using their blog on the GMFRS website, which also
feeds through to Twitter.
The apprentices are young people who have already had some
contact with GMFRS, such as through the Prince's Trust courses,
Cadets and FireFly, following a targeted recruitment campaign.
You can read the apprentice CSA blog here - http://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/updates/apprentices.aspx