Firefighter Ashley Renshaw

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has welcomed 20 new recruits to the Service following a demanding 15-week training course.

The recruits were joined by family and friends at the Service’s Headquarters at Pirehill on Thursday, December 13, for an official passing out parade.

The recruits were split into two groups of ten so they could show off their new operational skills by carrying out two scenarios. The first scenario involved a mock fire in a three-storey building demonstrating the use of breathing apparatus (BA), pumps and ladders to rescue two people from a smoke filled building. The second scenario was a mock road traffic collision, completing a roof removal and an extrication of two casualties from vehicles.

Firefighter Matt Setterfield

Following the practical exercises they were presented with their certificates by Vice Lord-Lieutenant Mr Graham Stow and Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Becci Bryant watched by High Sheriff of Staffordshire Pippa Gee.

During their training the recruits have covered many aspects of the prevention and operational work they will perform in the role. They spent a week-and-a-half on prevent training, preparing them for the important work they will do in local communities when completing Safe and Well visits, community engagement and safety talks in schools. Their operational skills include the use of BA to work as part of a team in smoke logged buildings, the use of pumping appliances and ladders at fire locations, Positive Pressure Ventilation (used to clear smoke logging), using hydraulic cutting equipment to free people trapped in vehicles after road traffic collisions and specialist water rescue training.

One of the recruits, Tom Turner, was also presented with the Silver Axe award by Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant for showing self-discipline, motivation and leadership qualities, and for demonstrating an exceptional attitude to learning. He celebrated his achievement with his parents, grandfather and girlfriend who attended the parade.

Firefighter Turner said:

“I was really shocked to have been presented with the Silver Axe. I think everyone ruled themselves out to win so when I was called up I was really shocked and overwhelmed. My family are all really proud.”

The 25-year-old is from Wombourne and has been an on-call firefighter at the village station two years, but will now also be joining Tamworth as a wholetime firefighter in the New Year.

“I’d applied for different fire services throughout the country but had not got in, however Staffordshire was always where I wanted to be, it’s my home, and means I can continue to be on-call in Wombourne.”

Firefighter Chris Hyatt

CFO Becci Bryant said:

“I am delighted to welcome our new recruits to the Service and I congratulate them on reaching this point in their training. I hope they continue to enjoy their new roles and quickly get settled in out on station, where they will be out in our communities making a real difference to people’s lives.”

Six of the recruits will be stationed at Longton; David Small, Rob Lem, James O’Mara, Chris Hyatt, Alex Salt and Steven Barnard

Corey Amor, Tom Turner and Joshua Dunn will be stationed at Tamworth.

Mark O’Leary and Danny Smith will both join crews at Sandyford, while Chris Andrews, Hanvir Singh and Anthony Doolan will join crews at Leek.

Ashley Renshaw and Liam Lambley-Wearing will join crews at Stafford.

Matt Setterfield and Jim Till will take up their roles at Burton and Damien Wood and Adam Evans will be at Cannock.