Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) has welcomed its latest firefighters to the organisation at the Pass Out celebration of course 01/22.
The 16 apprentice firefighters celebrated their successes in the ceremony at the MFRS Training and Development Academy (TDA) yesterday, a culmination of 16 weeks of learning, development and progression.
Across the four months, the firefighter recruit course included training on breathing apparatus, pumps and ladders, compartment fire behaviour, first response emergency care, road traffic collisions, compressed air foam systems, methods of entry, water rescue, working at height and hazardous material, as well as insights into National Resilience and Operational Assurance.
High Sheriff of Merseyside Lesley Martin-Wright, MFRS Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan, MFRS senior officers and family and friends of the recruits attended the Pass Out celebration, which included a drill display demonstration, presentations by the recruit firefighters, and presentation of certificates.
CFO Garrigan said, “I am delighted our recruits have successfully completed the rigorous and demanding training course to become operational firefighters. This training has been crucial in preparing them for the varied and challenging role of a firefighter, which as we know goes way beyond fighting fires.
“At Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, we accept nothing but the best. The recruits of course 01/22 have shown tenacity, diligence and a real appetite to succeed and importantly, a commitment to serve their community with courage and compassion.
“I would like to take this opportunity to personally congratulate them for their hard work and effort.”
The recruits of course 01/22 range in age from 20-45 years old and come from a variety of different backgrounds, including a chef, paramedic, social media manager and professional boxer. 20-year-old Kieran McKenna, a former team leader at NatWest, was named Top Recruit for course 01/22.
CFO Garrigan said, “Firefighter McKenna excelled technically, academically, and more importantly through the values he has exhibited, which was identified by colleagues and instructors alike. He epitomises our values.”
The ceremony also marked the final recruit course for Head of Recruit Department Watch Manager Steve Atkinson, who retires from MFRS later this month after over 30 years of service and seven recruit courses.
CFO Garrigan said, “Throughout his career, Watch Manager Atkinson has exemplified what it means to be a firefighter and officer for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service – tough, courageous, compassionate. In his most recent role as Head of Recruit Department, WM Atkinson has led the development of the finest recruits in the country, leaving a legacy which will go long beyond his service. We wish him all the best in his retirement.”
The recruits will now be posted to community fire stations across Merseyside to continue their apprenticeship training as firefighters in development until they become fully competent firefighters.