Release date: 3 December 2019
Twelve new wholetime recruits have joined the ranks of West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service after completing their 13 week initial training course.
The new recruits will now join a number of different fire stations around the county.
On Thursday (November 28) the 12 new firefighters marked the completion of their training course with a pass-out parade and demonstration of some of their new skills in front of friends and family at Horley Fire Station.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Neil Stocker, congratulated each of the new recruits. He said: “Completing this initial training course is no mean feat, but these 12 individuals have proven they have what it takes to be a firefighter in West Sussex.
“Over the past 13 weeks they have demonstrated their grit and determination and worked together as a team to get the job done. I was delighted to meet them all individually at their pass-out parade, and know that they will all become real assets to our service. I wish them all the very best as they embark on their careers with West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.”
As well as learning how to use all of the equipment found on the service’s fire engines, the new recruits were taught vital lifesaving skills such as first aid, how to rescue casualties from inside a vehicle involved in a road traffic collision, and carrying out rescues from height using ropes.
New recruit Faye Casburn said: “After 13 weeks of hard work, academically and physically, we have made it to our pass-out parade. We have learned a lot about the roles and responsibilities of a firefighter to help us be the best that we can be. We have all worked very closely together over the course and become a really tight-knit family.”
As they neared the end of their 13 week course, the new recruits undertook a 24 hour exercise wearing breathing apparatus to raise money for The Fire Fighters Charity, the Air Ambulance, Kent, Surrey & Sussex, and Macmillan.
Ahead of the challenge all the team underwent extensive training on the safe use of breathing apparatus to make sure they were fit and ready to take on the challenge.
Working in teams of two, the recruits powered through the night on minimal sleep, before heading out to meet residents during the day to raise money for their three chosen charities.
They had hoped to raise somewhere in the region of £1,500 but have so far raised more than £3,400.
Jim Mackay, Course Commander, said: “We knew there would be a lot of support for their fundraising efforts, but the amount they have raised has far exceeded anything we could have hoped for.
“The sense of teamwork and the bond they have built up over the last 13 weeks has gone a long way to prepare them not just for life on a fire station, but preparing them to be a firefighter in the communities they will serve."
You can still support their fundraising by donating online here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/24hr-ba-challenge