New Bridge students welcome firefighter Hayley Agnew to school

Firefighter Hayley Agnew hit the headlines when photographer Charles McQuillan for the photo agency Getty Images captured her battling the fire which raged across Slieve Donard recently.

Pupils and staff welcomed Hayley Agnew to New-Bridge Integrated College

Hayley accepted an invitation to visit New-Bridge Integrated College to talk to A Level students who are studying BTEC Level 3 Uniformed Protective Services course (previously named Public Services) and to raise the profile of women in the Fire Service.

The course enables students to pursue interests in careers in the Emergency Services and they were delighted to welcome a ‘live resource’ into the classroom.

Hayley received a warm reception from Year 8 students who have been reading up on Hayley’s accomplishments following that ‘famous picture’ which appeared in the press of Hayley battling the gorse fires on the Mourne mountains.

The image of Hayley captured by photographer Charles McQuillan from Getty Images

Hayley spent some time with the Sixth Form students talking to them about her experience in the Fire Service and gave students an insight into the wide range of emergency call outs she attends in her role as a Firefighter.

Hayley was also able to answer questions from students on teamwork and leadership skills within fire service, which has enabled them to complete aspects of their assignment work.

She gave the students an insight into her own career path and offered advice to Year 13 pupils on the steps to take to pursue a career within the fire service.

Feedback from New-Bridge students about the visit has been so positive as they gained a lot of helpful information to assist them with their studies.

Hayley Agnew was welcomed to New Bridge recently

Students particularly enjoyed how open and honest Hayley was about her experiences on various call outs and found her very “engaging and relatable”.

A spokesperson for the school said: “Hayley’s passion for her job really showed throughout her talk which has sparked an interest in a career within the fire service for some of our year 13 pupils.

One pupil Jessica said:

“I really enjoyed her talk, I feel like I have a really good insight now on what it would be like to work for the fire service and the situations you may encounter.”

“Another pupil Callum said: “She spoke to us in a way that was really relatable and I like how everyday on the job would be different.”

Mrs Anderson commented: “Hayley is a great role model for our young girls and it is great that the ‘famous picture’ has raised the profile of women in the fire service.

“We very much appreciated her time in our school and wish Hayley the best for the future.”