New firefighters to start in Lurgan and Portadown Fire Stations and across NI
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The graduation ceremony was held at the NIFRS Learning and Development Centre, Boucher Road, Belfast on Friday, February 10 and the graduates were joined by their family and loved ones for the special celebration.
The graduates completed an intensive training programme that allowed them to develop specialist knowledge and a wide range of practical skills, including tactical firefighting; using breathing apparatus; and responding to road traffic collisions and other rescues. They also learnt how to deliver fire prevention and community safety training.
NIFRS Interim Chief Fire and Rescue Officer, Andy Hearn said: “This was a hugely important day for our 34 trainees as they graduate as Wholetime Firefighters. Our graduates should be extremely proud of getting to this point. They were exceptional in a challenging recruitment process, and then have successfully completed our rigorous Trainee Firefighting Course.
“Thanks to their hard work and the dedication of our Instructors, they are ready to start the next chapter of their career in NIFRS and will now take their places as Wholetime Firefighters on Fire Stations across Northern Ireland.
“Our graduates have chosen to become a Firefighter because they believe in serving our community and working with others to make Northern Ireland a safer place. I wish them every success in what is a fulfilling, interesting and worthwhile career.”
Carmel McKinney, OBE, Chairperson of NIFRS added: “On behalf of the NIFRS Board I would like to warmly congratulate each of our new Firefighters. We want the best people to keep our community safe, and I am confident that our graduates are equipped and ready to go out onto Station to serve the people of Northern Ireland.
“The training and development of our people is not something that ends with this graduation ceremony. I am a firm believer in lifelong learning and our graduates will continue their training and development on Station and in our new £42.6million Learning & Development Centre just outside Cookstown, throughout their careers. As a service, we continue to invest in our people and in the safety of everyone in Northern Ireland.
“I wish all of the 34 graduates success and happiness in their careers in NIFRS.”