New firefighters graduate

Firefighter Jan  Greszta from Craigavon
Firefighter Jan Greszta from Craigavon

Three local men were among 27 new trainee firefighters to graduate this week, having been chosen from 5,000 applicants.

The NI Fire and Rescue Service congratulated the graduates at a special ceremony in the NIFRS Learning and Development Centre in Belfast.

Firefighter S McCormac from Lurgan joined Firefighter Jan Greszta from Craigavon and Firefighter David Lappin from Portadown as well as Firefighter John Monaghan from Armagh at the special event.

They showcased their skills by performing a number of live fire and rescue demonstrations and drills before receiving their certificates and awards from Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, Gary Thompson.

During their intensive training they developed specialist knowledge and a wide range of practical skills. These included fire prevention, protection and detection, breathing apparatus, road traffic collision and specialist rescue skills as well as community safety education and engagement training.

Gary Thompson, Chief Fire and Rescue Officer, NIFRS, said: “I warmly congratulate our new Trainee Firefighters on their graduation today and wish them a long, happy and rewarding career in NIFRS. We continually strive to ensure that we recruit and train only the very best people to be Firefighters because it is not just a job, it is a vocation and a way of life.

“The 25 men and two women of Trainee Firefighter Course 01/2018 were selected following a rigorous recruitment campaign which attracted almost 5,000 applicants. Having successfully completed their intensive training course, I am confident that those in the class of 01/2018 have already demonstrated key qualities and attributes for the role of a modern day Firefighter. I look forward to watching their careers develop in the years ahead.

“The role of a modern Firefighter continues to evolve as we work to keep people safe from a wide range of emergencies such as fires, road traffic collisions, specialist rescues, flooding incidents, collapsed buildings. It’s also about community education, engagement and prevention activities to help reduce emergencies occurring in the first place.”