Sixteen new full time trainees today (7 March 2016) began their initial training to serve as frontline firefighters protecting people and property in the north of Scotland.
The trainee firefighters have begun the course after successfully progressing through a highly competitive recruitment process.
The 14 week course at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) training centre at Portlethen, near Aberdeen, will see the trainee firefighters learn the life-saving skills they need along with an important understanding of how we aim to prevent fires occurring particularly in people’s home.
All the new trainees will be helping protect communities in Aberdeen City and the North of Scotland as the Service once again underlines its commitment to investment in the area.
A packed schedule includes lectures and practical drills teaching them about the emergencies they are likely to experience, how to use the specialist equipment carried on SFRS appliances and the methods we use to work in partnership to reduce risk in our local communities.
In highly realistic training scenarios the future firefighters will tackle multi-vehicle crashes on a motorway as well as intense fires in terraced houses, tenement flats and multi-storey tower blocks.
SFRS Deputy Assistant Chief Officer and Head of Service Delivery in the north, Andy Coueslant, who was in Aberdeen today to meet and speak to the new trainees, said: “We promised to deliver new firefighters to bolster our crews in the North of Scotland, particularly here in Aberdeen, and this group will soon be on the frontline protecting the public.
“Our personnel operate in difficult and dangerous conditions, delivering an effective emergency response to serious incidents where people may be injured, trapped and in urgent need of rescue.
“They will also be at the forefront of supporting local communities in preventing fires and other emergencies occurring most notably by delivering our free Home Fire Safety visit programme.
“After completing their course these new firefighters will be deployed where they are needed, joining our current highly-skilled crews and enhancing fire and rescue cover in Aberdeen. These trainees can look forward to an extremely rewarding career and will have opportunities to learn specialist skills in addition to their initial training.
“And once they learn those skills they may, at times, be deployed to help communities in other areas of the country when required, which is one of the key benefits of the national fire and rescue service.”
DACO Coueslant added: “This is a significant investment in the north by the Service. It will ensure appropriate staffing in Aberdeen City to maintain the first class protection of our communities and support prevention activity which in turn reduces risk.”
The trainees are the fourth group to undertake the foundation firefighter course since the inception of SFRS in April 2013. They are expected to complete their training in June.