Scotland’s newest firefighters prepare to protect the North

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Sixteen trainee firefighters graduate in front of friends and family at SFRS ceremony in Portlethen.

Portlethen Grad 1

Sixteen new firefighters have been welcomed to the ranks of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) following a graduation ceremony in Aberdeenshire today.
The country’s newest emergency responders graduated from SFRS College in Portlethen and will now join frontline stations across Aberdeen.

The recruitment of the 13 men and three women fulfills the service’s commitment to deliver new wholetime firefighters to protect communities across the region.

Each trainee has been recruited in the north, trained in the north and will soon go on to protect the north, underlining our commitment to the area.

Before their official graduation ceremony the new firefighters demonstrated some of the life-saving skills they have gained over the intensive 14-week training course, with proud families and friends looking on.

They joined Scotland’s senior fire officers, members of the SFRS Board and other assembled guests as the squads undertook scenarios involving firefighting, search and rescue, ladder drills and road rescue operations.

Chief Officer Alasdair Hay said: “It’s a tremendous pleasure to welcome these new firefighters to our service.

“These men and women are taking on a vital role protecting people across the north-east and they can look forward to a terrific career that puts them at the very heart of their communities.”

He continued: “Today’s firefighters do far more than just attend fires.

“They also save lives and help people following serious road traffic collisions, floods and a huge range of other incidents, as well as working to prevent emergencies from happening in the first place.

“Since I joined as a firefighter more than 30 years ago the role has constantly evolved.

“It will continue to expand because we are determined to always improve the protection we provide to our communities and the safety of our crews is every bit as important.

“Throughout their careers these firefighters will benefit from the sort of specialist training that they’ve received over the past 14 weeks.

“Our Safer Firefighter Programme continues to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable our firefighters to serve our communities across Scotland safely, competently and effectively.”

After completing the demonstration the 16 new firefighters officially graduated from the course to embark on their careers in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Minister for Community Safety & Legal Affairs Annabelle Ewing welcomed the new recruits and said the intake underlines the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s commitment to protecting the whole of Scotland.

She said: “I am delighted to see the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service reinforcing their presence in the north-east with this new intake of wholetime firefighters.

“Having one national service allows SFRS to target resources at communities that need them the most and these firefighters will play an absolutely vital role in protecting the people of Aberdeen. They will also help to prevent fires by sharing safety practices and engaging with local communities.

“I’d like to wish each of them a safe and rewarding career.”

Kirsty Darwent, Deputy Chair of the SFRS Board added: “These recruits represent our commitment to the safety of the people of the north east.

“They will leave here ready and equipped for the task ahead and of course I wish them the very best as they join our crews protecting the public.
“Although they have now completed their initial training they will continue to develop the essential life-saving skills required by the modern firefighter, such as helping to save patients who suffer from out of hospital cardiac arrests.”

Portlethen Grad 2

 New firefighter Natalie Parslow (centre) with the Chief Officer's prize for best trainee alongside Chief Officer Alasdair Hay and Deputy Chair of the SFRS Board Kirsty Darwent

Portlethen Grad 3

The graduates march in front of friends of family at Portlethen training college