You will have been told which night of the week your station trains. These nights consist of an array of training, both practical and theoretical, for the whole crew, allowing you to develop your skills individually and as part of a team.
Initially your role will be fairly limited until you have undertaken basic training, but these nights are a good chance to get to know your colleagues, and learn how the Service operates.
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.
Next stages of your training
Once you have completed basic training, you will move onto learning the following:
- Time critical rescue – removing a person safely down a ladder and lifting a casualty in the correct manner.
- Use of breathing apparatus (BA), search & rescue techniques and firefighting tactics – once you have completed this, you will be allowed to use BA at incidents.
- Road traffic collision (RTC) 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 help to guide you through the Firefighter Development Programme. This is divided into the stages you need to complete and identifies the skills you must show at each point.
At the end of each stage 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 are able to put in, you should hope to complete this in around 18-36 months.