Your Station Commander will have told you which night of the week your station trains. These nights consist of an array of training, both practical and theoretical, to encompass all of the skills you will need as a firefighter.
Initially your role will be fairly limited until you have undertaken your basic training, but it will be a good chance to meet and get to know the crew, and start to learn about how the Service operates.
New recruits’ training
You will be asked to attend one of our training centres – either West Moors or Devizes – to get you familiar with the equipment on the fire engine and ensure that you are safe and useful on the fireground.
You will learn how to put up ladders as part of a team, as well as how to operate the pump and use a hydrant to get water quickly. You will also be introduced to Service procedures on different incident types.
On successful completion of the initial part of this course, you will be issued with your personal protective equipment and your alerter, which will let you know when you have a ‘shout’. You will now be able to ride on the fire engine and attend emergencies, albeit it in a slightly limited role until you have completed further training.
Other elements of your training will include:
- Time critical rescue – removing a person safely down a ladder and lifting a casualty in the correct manner.
- Use of breathing apparatus, search & rescue techniques and firefighting tactics – once you have completed this, you will be allowed to use BA at incidents.
- Road traffic collision techniques, learning how to stabilise and dissect a vehicle safely, the hazards to look out for, and how to care for casualties involved in RTCs.
Alongside this, you will be assigned a mentor, who will guide you through the Firefighter Development Programme. You will also have a training folder, which is divided into the stages you need to complete and the skills you must show at each of these stages.
At the end of each section is an assessment, where you must demonstrate your competencies.
Once you have passed all of the required stages, you will become a fully qualified firefighter. Depending on the experience you gain and the work you put in, you should hope to complete this folder in around 18-36 months.