Graduation of Avon Fire & Rescue Service recruits following surge in applications

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is proud to welcome 15 new recruits following a huge surge in applications.

Thanks to the ‘Yes You Can’ campaign, a social media drive and targeted events, AF&RS received 1,035 eligible applications in 2018.

This was an increase of nearly 400 on 2017’s campaign, which was the service’s first in eight years. There was also an increase to over 25 per cent in recruits from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds.

Having whittled the huge number of applicants down to just 15, the intake from 2018 will graduate in front of their family and friends at the Severn Park Fire & Rescue Training Centre.

This will see them undertake practical demonstrations of the skills they have learnt, including a road traffic collision demonstration and rescues from a property fire.

They will then be presented with their qualifications and there will be awards for the Best Recruit, Best Breathing Apparatus wearer and the Recruits’ Recruit.

Mick Crennell, Chief Fire Officer for AF&RS, said: “We are thrilled with the level of interested we received from our last recruitment campaign and look forward to welcoming them to their new stations in the next few weeks.

“Over the past few months, they have been pushed to their limits during training and we know they will all be strong additions to the service for years to come.

“Anyone who narrowly missed out last time or is inspired by the achievements of our graduates will be pleased to hear that applications for our next recruitment campaign will open in 2019, we are looking into an apprenticeship scheme and have various support staff roles available.

“I encourage anyone interested in joining our service to apply. We absolutely welcome applications from all sections of our richly diverse communities and we are seeking to increase the diversity of our workforce so that it is truly representative of the communities we serve.”

Cllr Donald Davies, Chair of Avon Fire Authority, added: “It is fantastic to see the new recruits pass their training with flying colours. We are looking forward to welcoming them to our service.

“It’s also great to see that this group of new Firefighters come from very diverse backgrounds and have very quickly bonded into a close-knit team ready to serve our communities.”

The recruits passed a rigorous selection process which included written tests, fitness and strength tests, an interview and medical.

Over the past couple of months, they have undertaken a packed schedule in which they have been taught the technical and practical skills required to become a firefighter.

This has included safe working at height, water safety, breathing apparatus, hazardous materials and road traffic collision procedures.

Benjiman Newman, one of the new recruits who joined AF&RS following a career as a builder, is looking forward to starting the role.

He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I’m delighted to be a part of this family. The training has been hard but I know it has put me in a position where I can make a difference.

“I always felt that I wanted a more challenging and rewarding career where I can give back to the community I love. Joining the fire service allows me to do that.”

If you would like to find out more about the role of a firefighter, sign up for more information on our recruitment website at