A total of 25 new firefighter recruits completed their intensive initial training courses at Telford’s firefighter training centre and had “key” qualities including the ability to keep going “when it gets tough” and the physical courage to complete the demands put upon them, said Chief Fire Officer John Redmond, at their "passing out" ceremony held in Shrewsbury.
“You have now not only become a member of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service but also a member of a select group of people from your local fire station who are held in high esteem by the people in your local communities.”
A further ten firefighters also received awards for completing their full development programme training. They all join 300 “on call” firefighters providing emergency cover at 22 fire stations across the county while employed in other jobs.
SOUTH SHROPSHIRE: Printer David Drinkwater, based at Bridgnorth fire station, is a married father of two who runs with Castlefields Running Club and finished in the top five in the recent Long Mynd hike; Builder Lee Rollings, based at Cleobury Mortimer fire station, who works for South Western Construction won the Instructors’ Award. He is a cross country mountain bike enthusiast; Poultry handler Martin Smith, based at Craven Arms fire station, plays football for Ludlow and is a marathon runner; Factory worker Kyle Whitefoot, based at Clun fire station, won the Top Student award in his group. He works for Hospital Marketing and plays football for Knighton Reserves and keeps fit running and swimming; Self employed carpenter Ashley Wright, based at Bishops Castle fire station, is a motor cross enthusiast; Senior supervisor Callum Stone, based at Church Stretton fire station, works for the Co-op and plays football at power league in Shrewsbury; Shop floor assistant Sam Beasley won the Top Student award with the highest mark ever for the breathing apparatus course. Based at Church Stretton, Sam works at the Co-op and enjoys playing football. Paul Casson, based at Much Wenlock fire station, won the Instructors’ Award for showing “huge strength of character and fortitude” on his course. Paul has a foundation degree in outdoor education and enjoys “adrenalin” fuelled activities including climbing, white water rafting, downhill mountain biking and surfing; Father of two Stuart Tabbron, also based at Much Wenlock, works for Grange Fencing. The father of two is a football coach for Lawley Lightmoor Comets; Maintenance Manager Oliver Powis, based at Ludlow fire station, works for Barchester Health Care and is a father of one; Self employed in financial services, Simon Harris, based at Bishops Castle, enjoys country and water sports; Winner of the Top Student award was George Jacks, based at Ludlow, who works for the Ludlow Nut Company. He is a keen sportsman and plays rugby for Ludlow and football for Teme Valley.
SHREWSBURY: Self employed plumber Kevin Richardson, based at Shrewsbury fire station, is a married father of two and enjoys skiing, scuba diving and riding motorcycles; Skin specialist Hannah Russell, also based at Shrewsbury, won the Instructors’ Award for her growth in confidence and huge amount of character and resilience on her course. Hannah works at House of Fraser on the Clarins desk and is a sports coach for teenagers; Jonathan Parker, manager of the Write Here stationery shop, is also based at Shrewsbury and enjoys running, hiking and photography.
OSWESTRY AND NORTH SHROPSHIRE: Troy Smith, based at Oswestry fire station, has run a successful building company for the past ten years. A married father of two, he enjoys cycling and running; Toolmaker Steve Weston, also based at Oswestry, has worked at Richard Burbidge for the past 30 years. A married father of two he enjoys running and biking; RAF Contractor David Shingler, based at Baschurch fire station, works in Cobham. A father of three, he enjoys weightlifting and carpentry; Production operative Matthew Barrow, also based at Baschurch, works for modular buildings manufacturer Elements of Europe. The father of three enjoys astronomy; Acting crew manager Sally Barnett, based at Market Drayton fire station, runs a smallholding and enjoys cooking, walking and motorcycle riding; Retired prison officer Clive Bromfield, based at Market Drayton fire station, has a daughter and enjoys cycling and motorcycling; Apprentice joiner Andrew Williams, based at Whitchurch fire station, is a father of two and enjoys snowboarding, motorbikes and football; Gym instructor Thomas Barlow, also based at Whitchurch, works for BodyTech Health Club and enjoys working out at the gym and plays football and rugby.
TELFORD: Craig Rees works as a warehouse operative and is based at Wellington Fire Station; Luke Brown, also based at Wellington, enjoys sport and keep fit.
Pictured are the winners of the Top Student and Instructors' Awards and new recruits from fire stations in South Shropshire, North Shropshire, Shrewsbury and Wellington.