The first wholetime firefighters to be recruited by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service in five years shared a special day with their proud families and friends this week.
The 12 recruits attended a Passing Out ceremony at Shropshire FRS's training centre in Telford where Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority Chair, Stuart West, presented them with certificates to mark their successful completion of a tough 12-week training course.
They were welcomed and congratulated by Shropshire’s chief fire officer, Rod Hammerton who told the audience: "We received 1,529 applications for these twelve jobs so being picked to start the training course immediately put these 12 people into a very select group.
"Every one of them has proved worthy of the opportunity they have been given and the training staff have described them as the strongest group of trainee firefighters they have seen."
Every Watch on each of Shropshire's three wholetime" fire stations – Shrewsbury, Telford and Wellington – will be joined by one of the new firefighters and CFO Hammerton explained why.
"Nothing brings a Watch or a Service back to life better than new blood. As well as listening and learning, I expect these recruits to be questioning, demanding and advocates of the changing role of the Fire and Rescue Service," he said.
Following the formal presentations the audience moved outside the training centre's main drill yard to see the new firefighters put through their paces in several staged exercises that included dealing with a car fire and using ladder, rope and water hose skills on a 100ft training tower.