MORE than 50 new firefighters are ready to stand on the frontline to protect Scotland’s communities.
Proud friends and family gathered at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s National Training Centre in Cambuslang on Friday, April 13 as senior officers welcomed 53 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 guests and senior officers.
The new recruits will take up their new posts in stations across the country,
Alasdair Hay is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Officer.
He said: “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 Eli Courtney, two, turned out in his full kit to watch dad Richy, 30, graduate.
And the youngster stole the show when he met Chief Officer Hay.
Eli's delighted mum, Amanda, said: "It's been an amazing day - we are so proud and he has been waiting so long for this.
"It's brilliant that we can be here and meet the chief too."
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 - 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.
They will also learn how to share information with the public, partner agencies, schools and businesses to help prevent incidents and ultimately save lives.
Chief Officer Hay also met 11 new Operations Control trainees who are expected to graduate in the coming weeks, offering a reassuring voice to communities at times of emergency.
He said: “Lives have been saved by the calm advice given over the phone by our Control Firefighters, buying vital seconds for those trapped in a fire or other emergency situation.
“It takes a certain kind of individual to fulfil this difficult role – I wish these trainees all the best for the remainder of their training and their future career.”