Football Coach, Surveyor and Care Worker... all Firefighters

Clun manager Michelle O'Toole, Telford engineer Jason Star and Market Drayton glazier Barry Plant were among 18 newly trained firefighters to receive their passing out awards from Chief Fire Officer Alan Taylor (left) and Fire Authority chairman Stuart West (right)|Carl Holland and Jodie Anston of Grainger and Worrall receive a thank you certificate from Chief Fire Officer Alan Taylor and Fire Authority chairman Stuart West watched by their employee Stephen Parker (left) and fellow firefighter Jason Star.|Employers Palethorpes, where firefighter Daniel Rogers works, were praised for releasing staff to attend emergency fires and road crashes. Pictured are Daniel with employer Ronnie Gailey, of Palethorpes received an employer award from Fire Authority chairman Stuart West and Chief Fire Officer Alan Taylor|

A football coach, a surveyor and a care worker have a skill in common – they are all Shropshire firefighters.

They were among 18 of the latest recruits to pass out from their basic training at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service last night.

They and their employers were thanked by Chief Fire Officer Alan Taylor for contributing to Shropshire's firefighting force.

"We go to great lengths to train them to be firefighters. Not everyone makes it. I want to welcome them to the service and thank their families and employers because without you we wouldn't have a fire service in Shropshire."

A total of 23 out of the county's 28 fire engines are crewed by retained firefighters operating from fire stations across Shropshire. Retained firefighters have daytime jobs, train during the evening and at weekends and turn out for emergencies at all times of the day and night to provide fire cover for their communities.

Employers Palethorpes and Bridgnorth firm Grainger and Worrall were praised for releasing their staff to attend emergency fires and road crashes.

The new recruits, who have completed an intensive training course at the brigade's training centre at Telford fire station, will now join more than 300 colleagues providing emergency cover at 22 retained fire stations.

Top students commended for their efforts were Oswestry joiner Dave Dyke, a father of two, and electrician Robert Laiker, who joins Ellesmere fire station. The instructors award went to Albrighton firefighter Ben Campbell, a business development manager and Clun manager Michelle O'Toole, the second woman to join Clun fire station.

Football coach Carl Weston, a father of three who manages Craven Arms under 10's, building surveyor Adam Streatfield, also from Craven Arms and Bishops Castle care worker Tim Perks and the rest of their colleagues will continue training to develop their skills over the next few years.

12th February, 2008