16/07/2019

Fire Service Boost As 28 Firefighters Graduate

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service is set for a personnel boost as 28 new Trainee Firefighters graduate and fill posts across the region.

The new recruits underwent an intense training course and have developed specialist knowledge and a wide range of practical skills, including fire prevention, protection and detection, breathing apparatus, road traffic collision and rescue skills, as well as community safety education and engagement training.

During the ceremony at the Learning & Development Centre in Belfast on Wednesday 10 July, the graduates performed a number of live fire and rescue demonstrations and drills, showcasing their skills before receiving certificates and awards from the Chief Fire & Rescue Officer (Interim) Michael Graham, who said: "Today I congratulate our new Trainee Firefighters on their achievement on what is a milestone day for them, both personally and professionally. They are here because they were exceptional in a rigorous recruitment process and have since successfully completed our Trainee Firefighting course which is both intensive and demanding. From today, they will take their place on Fire Stations alongside other Firefighters across Northern Ireland to help protect our community.
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"Not only is this an immensely proud day for our NIFRS family, it's a special day in the history of NIFRS. In September 2019 we will be moving our tactical firefighting and breathing apparatus training to our new purpose built Learning & Development Centre outside Cookstown in Co Tyrone. This will mark a new era in how we train and develop our people with the next generation of Trainee Firefighters completing that aspect of their training in our new facility.  

"Today's graduates, along with their colleagues across Northern Ireland, will continue their lifelong training and development on Station and at our new Learning & Development Centre, which will bring a real life dimension to our operational training.

"Being a Firefighter is a true vocation, one which will see our new graduates serve and protect our community to make Northern Ireland a safer place. I'm confident in the calibre of people we have graduating here today and I look forward to seeing the success of Class 01/2019 over the coming years."

Carmel McKinney OBE, Chairperson of the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said: "Our Trainee Firefighters have now completed their course – however, today does not mark the end of their training – in fact, it's the beginning of a lifelong career path of training and personal development. As they take up their place in Fire Stations across Northern Ireland, on behalf of the NIFRS Board, I would like to wish them a long, happy and rewarding career in protecting our community."

La'Verne Montgomery, Director of Corporate Management at the Department of Health also congratulated the trainees. She commented: "I am delighted to be here to see the latest cohort of trainee Firefighters graduate. This is a huge day for all the graduates as they begin their new careers at posts throughout Northern Ireland. In addition to responding to fires, firefighters also attend road traffic collisions and other rescue incidents in the protection of our communities. I wish the trainees well in wherever their new careers take them and I have no doubt they will have a significant influence in the communities they serve."



(JG/CM)

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