SFRS welcomes 35 new wholetime firefighters

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The recruits were put through their paces in a series of tactical displays in front of family and friends

Deputy Chief Officer Iain Bushell speaks with new firefighters

MORE than 30 new firefighters are ready to stand on the frontline to protect Scotland’s communities.

Friends and family gathered at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s National Training Centre in Cambuslang on Friday, December 15 as senior officers welcomed 35 graduating trainees.

As well as receiving their hard-earned certification scrolls, the recruits were put through their paces in a series of tactical displays in front of the senior officers and visitors.

The ceremony came just two days before the SFRS’ current wholetime recruitment campaign draws to a close on Monday, December 18.

Iain Bushell is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Deputy Chief Officer (DCO).

He said: "This is a proud moment for every firefighter, and one that you never forget.

“These are hardworking, committed, ambitious and professional individuals - to get this far they have proven themselves to be among the best of the best and it was a privilege to welcome them.

“A whole new world of opportunities awaits them in a forward thinking and innovative national service and today is a great example of how the SFRS remains absolutely committed to the safety of Scotland’s communities.”

Little Jack Duff, aged 4, turned out in full fire kit to watch dad Paul, 33, graduate.

And the youngster spent some time with Chief Officer Alasdair Hay and the DCO.

Proud mum Catherine Dosser said: "Jack just loves fire engines and decided he was going to wear his uniform to see his daddy graduate.

"This has been a seriously proud day for our family and all of the other families. We know Paul and all the other graduates have worked terribly hard to be here."

Ex-soldier Paul, who will be based at Liberton fire Station in Edinburgh, said: "It's been a very special day and brilliant to see my son with both the Chief Officer and Deputy Chief Officer."

The day marked the end of a gruelling 14-week training regime that equipped the new wholetime firefighters with the skills they need to not only fight fires – but road traffic collisions, severe weather and terror related incidents.

However, the training does not end with graduation - recruits will go on to hone their skills in a multitude of specialist areas including water rescue and chemical spills.

Crucially, they also have the knowledge required to prevent many emergencies from occurring in the first place.

Deputy Chief Bushell continued: “The role of today's firefighter has changed - we no longer just react to fires but are committed to preventing such incidents occurring at all.

“This ethos is engrained in the training our firefighters receive and learning how to spot the warning signs when in the homes of our most vulnerable and elderly residents is just as important as learning how to tackle a fire or safely remove a casualty from a vehicle.”

They will also learn how to share information with the public, partner agencies, schools and businesses to help prevent incidents and ultimately save lives.

Deputy Chief Bushell added: "I wish them the best of luck as they take the first steps on the SFRS career ladder.”

Applications for wholetime firefighter positions within SFRS are open now, and close at 11.59pm on Monday, December 18.

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