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Sixteen new wholetime recruits begin careers at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service

A former Championship rugby player, a recent sixth-form student and an ex-prison officer are just some of the new recruits who have joined us.

We welcomed 16 new wholetime firefighters to our service this month, with the new recruits set to take on an intensive 15-week training programme.

This week, they all started the course as part of the Skills for Justice Apprenticeship Programme.  

The programme will see them carry out a series of tasks that will equip them with the practical and technical skills needed to meet the demands of a modern day firefighter.These include training sessions on hose and ladder use, breathing apparatus, hazardous materials, water rescue, working at heights, prevent and protect, road traffic collisions and trauma care, accompanied by multiple assessments.

Once they have completed the course, a special presentation ceremony will be held in the summer, before the firefighters are posted to stations across Staffordshire.

They will spend the next two-and-a-half-years there, where they will further develop their knowledge, skills and experience.

One of the new recruits, Scott Russell, 27, has played rugby for two Championship sides previously.

It was his interactions with firefighters following a fire at someone’s home that made him want to join and serve communities.

“Seeing how fire crews responded to the fire and how they interacted with the community got me interested and led to me having conversations with firefighters about a career at the fire service.

“It was the impact fire crews had on the community following the fire that inspired me to want to make a difference to residents and help them in their hour of need.

“I’m very much looking forward to the 15-week course, and while there will be exams, it will be good to pick up a pen again and get back into that routine.”

Maggie Coughlin, 31, originally from New York and now living in Stafford, has worked as an on-call firefighter for almost two years with us and is looking forward to helping communities.

“Having been inspired by my dad, who was a firefighter for more than 20 years, getting into firefighting is something I’ve always wanted to pursue.

“Working as an on-call firefighter at Uttoxeter gave me a taster in what it’s like and I fell in love with it.

“I have a real passion in wanting to get out into local communities and help people. Becoming a wholetime firefighter will enable me to build on the experiences and skills gained already through being on-call.”

Another new recruit, Amber Hill, 18, recently finished sixth-form before making the decision to apply.

She said: “I’m the first from my family to get into firefighting and I’m intrigued to learn more over the next 15 weeks about what it means to be a firefighter.

“Being a woman and now going into firefighting, I want to be a role model and inspire young girls to think about a career at the fire service.

I believe that if you’ve got the skills and the right attitude, you can achieve anything.”

Mark Whitehead, 37, and a father-of-two, has previously worked in the army and as a prison officer and is excited about the next chapter in his career.

“I’ve always had ambitions of becoming a firefighter and have received incredible support from my wife and family.

“My girls are very excited for me and can’t believe I’m going to be a firefighter.

“It’s exciting to know what I’m going to be experiencing over the 15-weeks and simply cannot wait to get started.

“I’m so determined to want to make a difference in communities and am thankful to the fire service for giving me this opportunity.”

If you are interested in a career at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and would like to learn more, visit our website: Careers | Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service


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