College Graduation for Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service Apprentices

Seven weeks of training undertaken at Great Holm Fire Station, Milton Keynes and at the Fire Service College for Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service apprentice firefighters culminated in a graduation ceremony attended by senior officers from the Service, Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority, Encompass, Fire Service College instructors and also their friends and family.

Welcoming guests to the College, Bernie Higgins, Director of Training, said “Today is a celebration of the collective achievement of these 22 apprentices. It has been our absolute pleasure to host this event and to play a key role in your training. It is no mean feat to have come through this first training phase. You are fortunate to be joining probably one of the most forward thinking and innovative Services in the country. The College is delighted to be part of a ground breaking collaboration with the Service and to be delivering high quality training to its staff.”

Presenting certificates to the apprentices, Jason Thelwell, Chief Fire Officer, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service encouraged them to be “The best firefighters you can be, listen, learn and ask questions. Being a firefighter is different from any other job you will ever do. You never know what you will be doing today, tomorrow, next week. People have expectations of you. Be the best you can, be better tomorrow than today, and live up to the standards of your FRS, colleagues and community.”

Apprentice Anthony Lancaster was presented with the prestigious silver axe which is awarded to the most outstanding graduating apprentice. He summed up the FSC experience on behalf of his fellow apprentices “I have really enjoyed my FSC experience. The grounds and facilities are more realistic than I ever imagined, and the instructors are so well informed.  I have new friends, a new respect for fire and the Fire Service, and am part of a close-knit team.”

The apprentices will undergo a further two weeks initial training where they will cover tactical ventilation and PPV, working at height, and first aid and trauma care.  After which they will join their stations and a specific watch, where they will continue to develop existing and new skills.

The apprentices are taking part in a two year programme jointly provided by Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service and Encompass, an Apprentice Training Agency. The apprentices will be trained to Emergency Fire Service Operations Level 3 qualification.




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