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17 June 2020

Cumbria’s latest cohort of firefighters graduate in style

Cumbria County Council Fire and Rescue Service’s latest group of new wholetime and apprentice firefighter recruits have successfully graduated following an intensive training programme.

The firefighters have completed their training and will now join the fire crews at their respective stations throughout Cumbria to help keep our communities safe.

An official passing out parade to mark the occasion was held at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s headquarters at Penrith on Friday 12 June. Unfortunately family and friends of the firefighters were unable to be present due to social distancing restrictions but the event was an important opportunity to celebrate their achievements.

Wholetime firefighters Kimberley Berry, Steven Brockbank, Danielle Cannar, Dean Readman, Natasha Thompson and Thomas Ward, alongside apprentice firefighters Shane Cusack, Dale Garnett, Ryan Morris  and Sophie Sinclair, were congratulated on passing their basic training course with flying colours and welcomed to Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service as newly-trained firefighters. In addition, firefighters Jordan Luyt and Shaun Wyld from the Isle of Man were also congratulated for successfully completing the training programme

During the passing out event, the firefighters showcased their fire and rescue skills and techniques with a series of practical demonstrations, including rescuing casualties from a mock road traffic collision and a high rise ‘blaze’. They were then presented with certificates of recognition by Cumbria County Council’s Chief Fire Officer Steve Healey.

The much coveted accolade for the top trainee on the course was awarded to firefighter Ryan Morris, who was presented with a silver axe in recognition of his outstanding achievements.

Chief Fire Officer Steve Healey said: “I’d like to warmly welcome our latest recruits and I’m particularly pleased we have four new female firefighters. Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is absolutely committed to equality and diversity, and it’s important that our workforce fully reflects the communities we serve. Running an intensive firefighter training programme during the Covid-19 pandemic has been testing for our new recruits and our training team but they’ve risen to the challenge admirably. I know they’ve all worked exceptionally hard and their achievements are well deserved.”

Cllr Janet Willis, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Fire and Rescue, said: “Congratulations to our latest recruits who have completed their training and gained valuable experience in practical firefighting. We wish them well in their future careers with Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.”

This year’s firefighter training programme presented a number of challenges due to the Covid-19 emergency, but to overcome this, the first three weeks of the course were delivered digitally by distance learning and online training.

Recruitment is now ongoing to find the next cohort of wholetime and apprentice firefighters for Cumbria, with practical selection tests due to start shortly. The successful candidates are scheduled to start their training in the autumn.

The new recruits will be joining the following fire stations in Cumbria:

Firefighter Shane Cusack - Apprentice - Workington/Whitehaven

Firefighter Dale Garnett - Apprentice - Kendal/Barrow

Firefighter Ryan Morris - Apprentice - Carlisle East/West

Firefighter Sophie Sinclair - Apprentice - Penrith

Firefighter Kimberley Berry - Whitehaven/Workington

Firefighter Steven Brockbank - Barrow/Kendal

Firefighter Danielle Cannar - Penrith

Firefighter Dean Readman - Ulverston

Firefighter Natasha Thompson - Carlisle East/West

Firefighter Thomas Ward - Workington/Whitehaven

Cumbria County Council Fire and Rescue Service’s latest group of new wholetime and apprentice firefighter recruits have successfully graduated following an intensive training programme.