New county firefighters

Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond with four of the new firefighting recruits back, left to right, postman Mark Anderson and top student award winners Adrian Richmond and front John Butler and Matthew Page, who works at Stoke Heath young offenders institute

A total of 18 new recruits working in a wide array of jobs ranging from a care worker to a carpenter, and a ladies hockey player to a hospital practitioner, have “passed out” as firefighters with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

All retained firefighters, they have joined county fire stations at Newport, Tweedale inTelford, Shrewsbury, Bishops Castle, Cleobury Mortimer, Oswestry, Ellesmere, Prees, Whitchurch, Hodnet, Wem and Minsterley.

Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond and Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority chairman Stuart West both welcomed them into the brigade at a “celebration of success” event held at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn.

They had all finished an intensive recruits course learning the basic skills before going onto a development programme that will see them become fully trained firefighters after three years service.

Mr Raymond said: “It is great to see so many new firefighters ready to serve their local communities here in Shropshire. Our rural fire stations could not operate without their commitment.”

Employers who allowed the firefighters to leave work instantly to answer emergency calls, were praised by Councillor West.

Presenting them with certificates, he said: “Without the employer allowing our retained firefighters to leave work quickly to fight fires and rescue people from road crashes, we would not have an operational service in Shropshire.”

The firefighters now join more than 300 colleagues who provide emergency cover at the county’s 22 mainly rural retained stations.

Awards for top students went to Shrewsbury toolmaker John Butler, Wem fabricator Adrian Richmond and Newport carpenter Liam Matthews, who joins his father, uncle and cousin at Newport fire station.

The instructors’ award went to Craven Arms firefighter Daniel Lewis who works at Harry Tuffins supermarket, Oswestry firefighter Steve Roberts, an anaesthetic practitioner at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Stewart Boffey, who works at Blists Hill Museum who joins Tweedale fire station.

The other recruits include Shrewsbury residential care worker Joe Burgess, Stoke Heath sports centre manager Sarah Cartwright who plays hockey for Market Drayton; James Gilchrist, a former member of the British Pike Team; and Matthew Page who works at Stoke Heath young offenders institution.

Ellesmere firefighter Kevin Reeves, a printer in Llangollen; former fire control room operator Ian Ramshaw who joins the other side of the service as a firefighter in Oswestry; Cleobury Mortimer mechanic Daniel Lawley; Daniel Green who works in the family business at Bishops Castle; McPhillips construction worker Ryan Weaver and postman Paul O’Reilly, both at Tweedale; Bridgnorth printer Adam Roberts, who joins Newport fire station; and Whitchurch postman Mark Anderson.

30th September, 2011