Young mum, singer, tree surgeon and yacht skipper… all firefighters

Award winning new recruits with Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond (centre) left to right: Shropshire firefighters John Hammond, Steve Westley, Matthew Dickinson, Gemma Walters, Tim Davidson and Ian Dudley.

A young mum, professional singer, tree surgeon and yacht skipper were among 22 new recruits who passed out from basic training as fully fledged firefighters with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

At a special passing out ceremony held last night (Monday, Nov 23rd) at Shrewsbury Fire HQ, they and their employers were thanked by Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond for contributing to Shropshire's firefighting force.

Mr Raymond told more than 200 family members and friends that their loved ones could be called to carry out similar rescue work to firefighters dealing with the devastating floods in Cockermouth.

He told the new retained firefighters that they had "the best job in the world" as they could save lives and serve the public "in a very special way."

Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority Chairman Stuart West congratulated the retained firefighters who drop "whatever they are doing" at home or at work when an emergency call comes through.

Receiving special awards from station manager Neil Griffiths after eight weeks basic training were top students John Hammond, a self employed property developer, of Church Stretton, IT technician Steve Westley, of Shrewsbury and gym instructor Matthew Dickinson, of Wellington.

Watch Manager Jon Temple presented the instructors' award to Ian Dudley, MD of a Craven Arms furniture company and self employed electrician Tim Davidson, of Oswestry, and young Oswestry mum Gemma Walters, who has a four-year-old daughter.

They join over 300 colleagues who provide emergency cover at 22 retained stations in Shropshire.

24th November, 2009