Yesterday (Sunday 24 April), Surrey Fire and Rescue Service welcomed 30 new firefighters and Fire Investigation Dog Suki, at a pass out parade in Reigate.
The firefighters will be based at a 15 Surrey fire stations, including: Fordbridge, Leatherhead, Guildford, Esher, Woking, Camberley, Epsom, Godstone, Egham, Walton, Dorking, Banstead, Godlaming, Oxted and Haslemere.
Suki, a one-year-old, red-haired Labrador, spent her initial training with Surrey Police before joining Surrey Fire and Rescue Service and completing her training. Fire dogs are also known as accelerant-detection dogs, because they search for traces of accelerants which could be used to prove that a fire was due to arson.
The group were presented their certificates and welcomed to the service by Chief Fire Officer, Steve Owen-Hughes, who said: “I am extremely proud of our latest 31 colleagues. They’re joining our service at a really exciting time – we’re on a journey to improvement, which I am sure they will help booster.
“I’m so pleased we are able to celebrate members of our Community Safety Team too; Fire Investigation Dog Suki and her handler Watch Commander Steve Craig’s hard work is equally as important. Community safety is a huge part of our service, the aim is to prevent incidents from happening in the first place and operational firefighters are key to getting these messages across.
“Finally, a huge thank you to all of the family and friends who have supported them through their initial training with us and will continue to support them throughout their careers. They are part of our fire family too, so I’m really pleased that we were able to host this event with them.”
Surrey’s Wholetime firefighter recruitment will be opening on Monday 2 May. In addition, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service is currently recruiting on-call firefighters at Chobham, Dunsfold, Lingfield, Gomshall, Godalming and Haslemere Fire Stations. On-call firefighters respond via pager from their home or work. Join a life-saving service and find out more by visiting www.surreycc.gov.uk/firecareers.
The event was also attending by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey Michael More-Molyneux, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council Mark Hardingham, High Sheriff of Surrey Christopher Critchlow DL, Chief Constable Gavin Stephens and several Surrey County Council Councillors. It also marked Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee as the Lord Lieutenant issued the first Platinum Jubilee medal to Crew Commander Mark Christmas. Medals or coins will be issued to all Surrey Fire and Rescue Service staff soon.