Trainee firefighters start responding to emergency calls across the county

homeless people

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is proud to welcome a new group of whole-time firefighters to a number of Kent stations this month.

Chosen from over 5,000 applicants, the group of 24 men and women have now officially joined fire crews at a number of stations around the county. An official passing out parade to mark the occasion for recruit course 181 was recently held at Rochester Fire Station, and was attended by the firefighters’ family and friends.

In order to reach this stage, the trainees first underwent a range of challenging assessments including situational awareness, problem solving, numerical, written, psychometric and physical testing. The individuals were then interviewed before being selected to join KFRS’ recruit course 181. What followed was a 16-week intensive training course designed to equip the group with the necessary skills and techniques required to become a firefighter. The trainees were also taught how to deal with the daily challenges and risks faced by today’s fire service when responding to a wide range of emergency incidents.

This intensive training course included – but was not limited to – learning how to use fire engine equipment in a wide range of emergency scenarios, working safely at height and in confined spaces, learning firefighting techniques, training in hazardous materials and dealing with road traffic collisions.

After experiencing a range of realistic scenarios to help them prepare them for the life of a firefighter (including one real incident in which a group of the new recruits saved a man from drowning), the recruits successfully passed their final assessments and were able to showcase their skills at the recent passing out parade. The trainees were then placed at their respective fire stations this June and are now actively responding to 999 incidents around the county.

KFRS Chief Executive, Ann Millington said: “I’d like to congratulate our new trainee firefighters on passing their initial training. They have all displayed great courage, true compassion and skill. Not only have they chosen to dedicate their lives to the people of Kent, but they will also be involved in life-saving missions that will bring them great job satisfaction and pride. I’d like to thank them all for joining KFRS and wish them all the very best in their career.”

Luke Harrison, a trainee firefighter based at Tunbridge Wells, has also described his time at Kent Fire and Rescue Service so far as very “rewarding”.

“In the four short months I’ve been part of Kent Fire and Rescue Service so far, the teamwork, trust, camaraderie and passion for the job is on a level I’ve never seen or experienced before,” says Luke.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work and determination to get here – but when you couple the above with the fact that it’s all for the purpose of helping people and the community, the word ’great’ just doesn’t cut it. I truly think I’m at the start of one of the best and most rewarding careers out there.”

Jack George, a trainee firefighter at Folkestone says he first joined Kent Fire and Rescue Service to “play a vital role in helping the community”

“Everyone has been so welcoming since I joined the crew at Folkestone. There truly is a great group of people working here – everyone is kind, friendly and great to work with. I very much look forward to seeing my fellow recruits out and about as we start to build a career at Kent Fire and Rescue Service.”

But the training doesn’t stop here, as the trainee firefighters have now entered a two-year development phase. During this time, trainee firefighters will be honing and building on core skills already attained during training.

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