A postman, electrician and a hospital porter are among the new generation of firefighters recruited to save lives across Tyne and Wear.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have announced 21 recruits have started their training at their headquarters in Washington.
The trainee firefighters began their 12-week training programme last week and will learn the skills needed to keep communities safe and respond to emergencies in the region.
It will be the fifth cohort of recruits to join the organisation in less than two years, with nearly 100 new firefighters already deployed to the front line in that time.
The recruits have joined the organisation at a time where TWFRS expect to recruit hundreds more new faces in the coming years.
Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther has welcomed the new trainees to the Service and encouraged people of any age, gender, race, religion or sexuality to consider a career as a firefighter. He said: ‘It’s important that we as a Service are continuing to grow and bring new ideas and faces into the organisation.
‘In our last course we had former cabin crew, an undertaker and a falconer. In this cohort we have an electrician player, a postman and a hospital porter.
‘We don’t have a set criteria. As long as you’re physically fit, and passionate about keeping communities in Tyne and Wear safe, then you’ll be a perfect fit.
‘The beginning of a new course is an exciting time for the recruits but it is also exciting for me and the Service as we invest in the future of the organisation.
‘We are continuing with one of the biggest recruitment drives we have ever had and this is an opportunity to welcome trainees, but also to encourage others to consider a career with us.
‘Regardless of your age, gender, race, religion or sexuality, there is a home for you here in Tyne and Wear so get on our website and register your interest in joining the team.’
The new recruits are now beginning training that will see them learn how to operate a fire pump, installing and checking smoke alarms, hose running, Road Traffic Collison (RTC) rescue, First Aid, delivering educational visits, and much more.
Applications to become a whole-time firefighter in Tyne and Wear are expected to re-open later this month, but you are still able to pre-register your interest on the TWFRS website at www.twfire.gov.uk/work-for-us/