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First graduates from joint Surrey and Sussex firefighter training course showcase skills at passing out parade

The 12 recruits who will join Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

New fire service recruits showcased their skills at a passing out parade after completing 13 weeks of training.

Twenty-four recruits demonstrated what they’ve learned during the first Surrey and Sussex “tri-service” course for full-time firefighters.

The fire services in Surrey, East and West Sussex joined forces to run the intensive course which began in January at Surrey’s training centre in Reigate, with instructors from all three services as tutors. Twelve will now join Surrey, eight will join West Sussex, and four will join East Sussex. Find out more here and here.

As fire chiefs and county councillors looked on, the recruits performed a series of demonstrations including tackling a fire, performing a rescue from a third floor window and dealing with a three-car road traffic collision.

Denise Turner-Stewart, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Fire and Resilience, said: “I’d like to sincerely congratulate our new recruits on their significant achievement in completing this testing and intensive course. I’m very proud to welcome them into Surrey’s fire service and wish them a long and fulfilling career serving and protecting our communities. This course has been a great way to pool the expertise of our three fire services and Surrey is looking forward to much more collaboration in future.”

Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “I am so pleased to welcome our newest firefighters and it will be very exciting to see how their careers develop as they support their local communities. This course has been a wonderful opportunity to work with our neighbouring services and I look forward to collaboration on future courses.”

Dawn Whittaker, Chief Fire Officer for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This was a hugely exciting day as it is the first time Surrey Fire and Rescue, West Sussex Fire and Rescue and East Sussex Fire and Rescue have delivered a joint thirteen week in-house wholetime core training programme.  I am so proud of all the staff and instructors that have made this possible.

“We have high hopes for our new recruits and we have already been impressed by their commitment and teamwork, since they began their basic training in January. They will now join their assigned teams and fire stations and start to experience the role for real and I know they will receive a warm welcome.”

Surrey’s new recruits will be starting their new roles at various stations across the county in the coming weeks after a well-earned break. Another joint training course is already planned for September.

 Photos courtesy of Chris Sirett, firefighter trainer for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

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