18 new firefighters have been welcomed to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service after a successful recruitment campaign at the end of 2021.
The new recruits were formally welcomed to the organisation on their first day this week by Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, and were given a tour of the new Darby House headquarters in Wellingborough.
Four of the new recruits are already familiar faces to Northamptonshire, having been on-call firefighters with the Service who successfully applied to make the role full-time. Having already undergone firefighter training, they will be assigned to their stations – Mereway, Rushden, Moulton and Corby – from Monday April 18.
The remaining 14 firefighters are new to firefighting altogether and will undergo an eight-week training session in the Cotswolds at the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh. They will then return to Northamptonshire for a further two-week course before being ready to join their respective stations.
For Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey, this will be the last set of wholetime firefighters he welcomes to the Service before retiring in October, and he believes it shows the positive place the Service is on in its journey under the governance of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
Mr Dovey said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome these new recruits to Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service.
“They will of course play a big part in enhancing our operational responses, whether that is putting out fires, carrying out rescues or doing some preventative work in the Home Fire Safety Checks that our crews will regularly carry out.
“We had a really positive response to our recruitment campaign and that shows us that people view us as an exciting place to come and work. That is testament to the hard work everyone has put in over the last few years to improve us as an organisation, and I’m really confident that the upward trajectory is going to continue thanks to the new talent that we are attracting to join us.”
Stephen Mold, the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, added: “It was fantastic to come and meet our new firefighters at Darby House and have a chat with them about the exciting journey we are on.
“I’m proud that since taking on the governance of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, I have been able to support recruitment and investment in ensuring firefighters have the right kit to carry out the job of keeping the public safe. That investment is thanks to additional government funding and also the support of local people through their council tax.
“This investment is both modernising the service so that firefighters can do more to help prevent fires and in wider community safety, and it’s also ensuring that Northamptonshire is a safer place to live.”
Among those joining the Service is 19-year-old Harry Warren, who has been on-call at Rushden since July and is now joining as wholetime.
He said: “I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter and since I joined on-call it’s been amazing. The crew have been great, and we get on really well and have become close friends. It’s good fun going out in that truck with them.”
Meanwhile Kieran Davies, aged 23, is entering firefighting for the first time having been a physio assistant in the mental health sector in his hometown of Northampton.
Kieran said: “I know I wanted to help people and it’s great to be given the opportunity to do that and to stay active as well. I saw a lot of the posts on social media where firefighters had said that if they could do it then I could do it, and that really stuck with me.”