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New apprentice firefighters in Greater Manchester

Image credit: Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has welcomed its latest firefighters to its team. 

Nineteen apprentice firefighters celebrated their successes at the second 'Passing Out Parade' of 2021 on Thursday (19 August), following an intensive 15-week operational training course.

The event was livestreamed for families to watch from the safety of their homes, in line with public health guidance regarding Covid-19. 

The Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Sharman Birtles JP DL, also attended the ceremony which was a first for 2021. She presented recruits with their completion certificates, which mark the end of their training course.

The recruit firefighters have now completed the first part of a nationally developed apprenticeship standard.

The apprentice firefighters will undertake the two-year programme to achieve the Level 3 Operational Firefighter Standard, which will help them gain the essential knowledge, skills and behaviours that will enable them to become a competent, modern-day firefighter.  


Image credit: Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. 

Four stand-out firefighters on the course were selected and presented with individual awards from Chief Fire Officer, Dave Russel; Head of Training and Crewing, Stewart Forshaw; Fitness Advisor, Tom Ashworth; and Assistant Director of Workforce Strategy and Talent, Mallicka Mandal.

  • Endeavour award – Charlie O’Brien 
  • Academic award – Devan Okang 
  • Fitness award – Craig Hindle
  • Silver Axe award – Nick Bolton

The Silver Axe is presented by the CFO to the trainee firefighter who, in the eyes of the training staff, has displayed and maintained exemplary standards in all aspects of the training course throughout the 15 weeks.

CFO Russel said: “Our latest firefighter recruits have demonstrated over the 15 weeks that they are up for the challenge, can meet expectations, and they will be a fantastic asset to our organisation. I know our new firefighters have put a lot of time, effort and dedication into the intense training course and it is a brilliant accomplishment to become a firefighter at GMFRS.

"I hope that our new recruits share the pride in their achievements that will be felt by their friends, families and new colleagues across Greater Manchester. It doesn’t stop here, it starts here, and we will do as much as we can to support them in their fire and rescue service journey.”

The recruits will now be posted to community fire stations across Greater Manchester, where their apprenticeship training will continue until they become fully qualified firefighters.

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