New generation of Northumberland firefighters begin rigorous training programme

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is training its next generation of firefighters.

Ten new recruits have started their rigorous training at Pegswood Fire Station, the first time in 40 years that whole-time firefighters have been trained in-house.

Although the service regularly trains on-call firefighters - historically their whole-time firefighters have been trained at other fire and rescue services.

Lee Buckingham, group manager for learning and development, said: "Every recruit will have a different reason for choosing to become a firefighter, but over the next two months these individuals will be united in their training which will ultimately help prevent incidents, save lives in their communities and help make Northumberland safer.

Trainee firefighters in Northumberland.

“We have an incredible amount of expertise in the fire service and fantastic facilities and we are excited to train 10 new trainees from the communities of Northumberland.

“I’m sure our next generation of firefighters will form part of the service for another 40 years. This is a huge accolade and seeks to demonstrate the excellence and quality we deliver.”

The course will run over eight weeks where the new recruits will learn about equipment and procedures relevant to the risks in Northumberland.

As well as fire fighting, training will cover road traffic collisions, chemical incidents and water rescues. This will provide the trainees with the essential skills and knowledge when they are at their assigned stations for the remaining 28 months, before becoming competent firefighters.

Group manager Buckingham added: “This is an extremely poignant moment for myself as the courses that were run in 1980 from our old headquarters at Morpeth were done so under my father Ron's supervision, a now retired divisional officer.”

“The extremely modern facilities we have in Northumberland are perfect for the delivery of such courses, supported by our dedicated and fully qualified training staff. ”

Northumberland Fire Authority chairman, Coun John Riddle, said: “I wish all of the new recruits the best of luck in their new careers.

“They have already shown us they have the skills and commitment to succeed and I know through their training they will quickly learn what makes being a firefighter one of the most rewarding paths you can choose to take in your professional life.”

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