Date: 30th July, 2018
This week has seen the passing out parade of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service’s (DWFRS) first wholetime recruits and apprentices.
The 14 new wholetime firefighters will be joining watches at Chippenham, Christchurch, Stratton, Swindon and Westbourne fire stations. Whilst nine of them are brand new, five of them are about to complete a two-year firefighter apprenticeship.
These 14 new firefighters join a further seven recruits who were successful earlier this year in the first wholetime recruitment process that DWFRS has run since the new Service came in to being in April 2016.
Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said: “I was extremely pleased to be able to invite family and friends of these recruits as well as the Lord Lieutenants and High Sheriff’s of Dorset & Wiltshire and Fire Authority members to the firefighter pass out parade.
“Since the combination of Dorset and Wiltshire in April 2016, DWFRS is now one of the largest fire and rescue services in England. We serve a population of 1.45m people across an area of some 2,500 square miles. To do this efficiently and effectively our people are our most important asset. These new recruits and apprentices have shown dedication, academic achievement, practical skills, teamwork, leadership, empathy and courage throughout their training and I am delighted to welcome them to Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.
“The firefighter apprentices, the first to take up apprenticeships within our new Service, have now completed 18 months of their apprenticeships and I am delighted to say we have been able to offer them all full-time employment. Accordingly, they will also become full time firefighters from the 1st of August.”
Ben added: “Being a firefighter is a great career. At times it will be exhausting, sometimes frightening, often exhilarating – but, more than anything, it is a huge privilege to be able to both change and save lives in the way that we do, time and time again.”
Cllr Spencer Flower, Chairman of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority: “On behalf of the Fire and Rescue Authority, I would like to welcome all of the new firefighters and wish them well as they settle into their new jobs and further develop the skills they have learned over the past eight weeks.
He added: “Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is a superb organisation, and I have no doubt that an exciting future lies ahead. Every day brings a different challenge, and firefighters do so much more than respond to emergencies – we provide a vital education role within the community, delivering Safe and Well checks to the most vulnerable, working with young people, highlighting the importance of road safety, and supporting businesses and landlords in keeping their premises safe. These new firefighters will help us to continue on our journey of changing and saving lives – and I have no doubt that each and every one of them will make a real difference to countless people within our communities.”