GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s (GMFRS) newest fire recruits have today (Thursday, February 1) taken part in a series of wellbeing and resilience sessions, to coincide with national #TimeToTalk Day.
As part of their induction into the role of a Firefighter, the recruits’ training, coinciding with the national campaign, has given them a better awareness and understanding of mental health and the support available.
The service is committed to offering this support, which forms part of the new and innovative Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship Standard that is now being delivered by GMFRS as part of a pioneering nationwide piece of work.
On Monday January 29 the Service launched its very first firefighter apprenticeship programme with its newest cohort of recruits.
Almost 30 recruits are undertaking a two-year programme that will enable them to gain the technical skills, knowledge and behaviours of an operational firefighter. They will be equipped with the necessary knowhow for their future career in protecting communities within Greater Manchester.
These wellbeing sessions coincide with Wellbeing Week 2018, a week of activity across GMFRS and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to support staff and increase awareness of both the importance of great physical and mental health.
Speaking on #TimeToTalk Day, Beverley Hughes, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “It is vital that all new GMFRS recruits obtain the necessary skills to be effective firefighters as they work together to protect communities across our city-region.
“Preparing new firefighters for the psychological challenges ahead in their careers is just as important as physical wellness. This activity today, which coincides with the GMCA Wellbeing Week and the nationwide #TimeToTalk Day, is a new innovation and something of which we are very proud.”
Damian O’Rourke, Head of Operational Training at GMFRS, added: “The recruitment of a new cohort of firefighters is always a significant moment. It is especially gratifying to know that they join the Service fully equipped with a strong awareness and understanding of mental health.
“I’d like to wish all our new recruits the best of luck with their journey ahead.”