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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s latest Wholetime Firefighters

ON THURSDAY, March 21st, a Graduation Ceremony and Passing Out Parade was held by Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) for the latest cohort of Wholetime Firefighters.

Held at the Service’s Earlswood Training Centre, the event was an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the amazing achievements of the 12 individuals – known collectively as Squad 01/24 – who have recently completed their On-Call to Wholetime conversion course, and in the company of their friends and families.

Following an extensive recruitment process where a variety of challenges were met as part of a rigorous selection process, Squad 01/24 began their eight-week residential course on January 25th. Since then, they have each developed the initial skills and attributes needed to undertake their new roles as Wholetime Firefighters.

They have received training on how to respond to a variety of emergencies in a range of scenarios, such as water rescue, working at height, protecting the environment and more. They have also worked closely with the Service’s Community Safety and Business Fire Safety Teams to further develop their knowledge and skills in fire prevention work, enabling them to fully integrate within our Community Fire Stations.

The Ceremony included the Parade of Recruits, where they were joined by the Service’s Colour Party, and an Inspection of the Recruits by Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas, Chair of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Gwynfor Thomas and Head of Training Delivery, Stuart Bate. Several Drill Yard Displays were then held to fully illustrate the emergency response skills each member of the Squad has developed during their training, which were followed by a Presentation of Certificates and Awards*.

As well as each recruit’s friends and families, Chief Fire Officer Thomas, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Iwan Cray, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Craig Flannery along with several members of the Service’s Executive Leadership Team, were also in attendance.

While officially opening the Ceremony, Chief Fire Officer Thomas said, “Today celebrates the remarkable achievements made by these 12 exceptional individuals who have undergone eight weeks of rigorous training and marks a significant point in the careers as Wholetime Firefighters.

“As an integral part of Wales’ emergency response infrastructure, MAWWFRS exemplifies professionalism, readiness and unwavering dedication to public safety and you are now an essential part of this work.

“My sincere thanks go to the Training Delivery Department who have worked tirelessly to deliver a first-class training course to our new recruits. Without the skills, expert knowledge and dedication, none of this would be possible.”

Each Graduate will soon start their careers as Wholetime Firefighters in their designated Fire Station. Everyone at MAWWFRS congratulates each of them wishes them long and successful careers.

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*Awards Presented at the Graduation Ceremony

Wholetime Firefighter Training Course Certificate

Each new Wholetime Firefighter was presented with a framed certificate by Chief Fire Officer Thomas to recognise their successful completion of the eight-week Wholetime Firefighter Training Course.

Presentation of the Physical Fitness Achievement Award and 300 Club

This award is selected by the Service’s Fitness Team and is presented to the recruit who has consistently pushed themselves to their limit and who has always strived to give their absolute best.

From Squad 01/24, this award was presented to Thomas Kerton by Chief Fire Officer Thomas.

Recruits Recruit Award

The recipient of this award is selected by the other recruits on the course. It is awarded to the recruit that has shown the greatest effort for both themselves and while helping their fellow recruits. This is a significant award as it highlights a very high-performing individual.

The award was presented to Scott Davies by Fire Authority Chair, Councillor Gwynfor Thomas.

The Highest-Achieving Recruit Award

The Silver Axe is awarded to the highest-achieving recruit on the course and the recipient is chosen by their lead instructors. The highest-achieving recruit will have demonstrated consistently high levels of performance in all tasks throughout the course. Practical ability, written assignments, examination results, leadership and working as part of a team are all taken into account when deciding the highest-achieving recruit.

The award was presented to Cameron Scott by Chief Fire Officer Thomas.