A group of new Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service recruits are a step closer to becoming firefighters when they take part in their Pass Out Parade later this week (Friday 22 May).
For the first time in nine years the countyâ€™s Fire and Rescue Service is recruiting wholetime (permanent, full time) firefighters, and after 10 weeks of training, the seven recruits will be officially recognised at the event at the Serviceâ€™s Bowthorpe Training Centre.
They joinÂ Norfolk Fire and RescueÂ Service after another seven new wholetime recruits, drawn from the Serviceâ€™s Retained Duty System staff and also from external Fire and Rescue Services, joined stations around the county in April.
The seven firefighters taking part in Fridayâ€™s Pass Out Parade have recently completed the initial comprehensive course covering all aspects of firefighter training including: use of fire engines; wearing breathing apparatus; how to respond to incidents in water, involving rail, aircraft, hazardous material, and road traffic collisions; as well as learning about how fires develop and their chemical make-up.
The new recruits will now be based at their respective fire stations to undertake a two-year development programme to learn from the incidents they attend and from their colleagues. They will be based either in Great Yarmouth, the Central and Norwich area, or in Kingâ€™s Lynn.
At Fridayâ€™s event Chief Fire Officer Nigel Williams will present the new recruits with their certificates after which they will carry out a number of practical demonstrations to highlight the skills they have gained to date. He said: â€œIt has been nine years since we have recruited wholetime firefighters externally, so this week will be a significant event.
â€œI hope the new recruits as well as their family and friends will feel a sense of pride as successfully training to be a firefighter is a huge achievement. They have accomplished the standards required of them and in due course will be operational members at their respective stations and no doubt will become an important asset at those stations.
â€œHowever, it is also important to also recognise the other recent firefighter recruits who have done a fantastic job of serving their local communities in a retained capacity and are now undertaking the role as wholetime firefighters.
Paul Smyth Chairman of Norfolk County Councilâ€™s Communities Committee said: â€œNorfolk relies heavily on the sterling efforts of retained firefighters but there is also a core of full-time staff that provide a constant service to the county, so having 14 newÂ permanent firefighters graduate is great news.
â€œFirefighters frequently put their lives at risk for others, playing an enormous role in keeping the people of Norfolk safe and so I am pleased to welcome the new recruits into the Fire and Rescue Service.â€
In addition to this bolstering its wholetime workforce, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service continues to regularly recruit and train Retained Duty System Firefighters who provide an On-Call response across the county.