On 26th June 2008, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service were hosts to a news crew from Central News (ITV), the purpose of their visit was to look at the Retained Recruitment process and how Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service are actively encouraging applications from under represented groups in Shropshire to become Firefighters.
News reporter Joanne Malin spent the morning at Telford Central Fire Station, she was very keen to take an active part in the firefighter selection tests, and join in activities with Retained Recruit firefighters attending their Breathing Apparatus Initial Training Course.
Joanne was given a health and safety brief and kitted out in full firefighting kit, following which she experienced her first exercise, the breathing apparatus crawl, this involved wearing a blacked out breathing apparatus mask and negotiating a restricted crawlway with a small casualty for company! This exercise forms part of the firefighter selection process.
Joanne receives her Health and Safety training Retained Support Officer Mike Beach oversees Joanne in the crawlway
Once Joanne had got her breath back it was on to a simulated road traffic collision where Joanne operated hydraulic rescue equipment to assist the crew in releasing an unfortunate motorist trapped in his car.
Joanne then joined the Retained Recruits of course 02/08 during a real fire exercise. Under strict supervision from the Training and Development Centre Instructors Joanne was able to observe from a safe distance the recruits dealing with a real fire within the Services Tactical Compartment Fire Training Unit where temperature at ceiling level can reach up to 1000 degrees.
Joanne's final firefighting experience was to work with the recruits to extinguish a car fire using a high pressure hose reel jet from a fire appliance.
Throughout the morning Joanne had the opportunity to interview many members of the Service at all levels and was given an excellent insight into life as a Firefighter with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Before leaving Joanne and her camera man expressed their gratitude for being invited to Shropshire, and how impressed they were with all they had seen and how realistic the training was.
A big thank you goes out to all those who assisted on the day.