College Graduation for Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service Apprentices

Seven weeks of training undertaken in Milton Keynes and at the Fire Service College for Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service apprentice firefighters culminated in a graduation ceremony last Thursday. The event was attended by senior officers from the Service, Members of Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority, Encompass, Fire Service College instructors and friends and family.

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 Leigh Rand was presented with the prestigious silver axe which is awarded to the most outstanding graduating apprentice. She summed up the FSC experience on behalf of her fellow apprentices “I feel extremely lucky to have had this amazing opportunity to learn lots of new skills and to be able to train with the other apprentices and the training team. I can’t wait to start utilising these skills and developing them further.”

Following two more weeks of training back in Service, the apprentices will join their stations and a specific watch, where they will continue to develop existing and new skills. They 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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