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Welcoming our latest recruits to the BFRS family

Welcoming our latest recruits to the BFRS family

Celebrating our latest cohort of Firefighter apprentices on completing their residential training.

Away from family and friends for 8 weeks, only going home at weekends, our new recruits have been tested both physically and mentally during their time at the Fire Service College.

The course began on the 1 October 2022, with an induction into the service. This followed an intense 8- week course at the Fire Service college. While at the college the recruits learnt foundation Firefighter (FF) skills which included

  • 5m/10.5m ladder pitches
  • 5m ladder pitch over an obstruction
  • Basic major pump operation
  • Lifting from open water using LPP
  • Knots and lines

After the initial foundation weeks, the recruits learnt further technical skills. These included learning how to respond to road traffic collisions (RTC) and hazardous material incidents. They also completed to working at Height and breathing apparatus training.  During the final week the instructional team arranged for the recruits to attend various realistic incidents. This scenario-based training gave them the opportunity to put into practice all the skills they have learnt over the last 7-weeks.


Photo collage of Firefighters training

This gruelling yet rewarding schedule has given them the best foundation in their new careers as professional Firefighters.

Time to celebrate

Before Christmas we celebrated this milestone by holding a Pass Out Parade. This event was once again hosted at our West Ashland Fire Station at the Blue-Light Hub, Milton Keynes. Friends, family, members of our senior management team, along with members from our Fire Authority, were all treated to exciting firefighter demonstrations. These included a vehicle collision and rescue from height “persons reported” scenario. It was an opportunity for family and friends to see how hard their loved ones had worked.

photo college of firefighter apprentices at the ceremony

‘You are about to join an elite family’

Before being presented with their Pass Out certificates from our Chief Fire Officer, Jason Thelwell, Group Commander Operational Training & Assurance Barrie Ackerlay recognised the importance the new recruits are to the BFRS family.

“This is not the end of your journey this is the start of your journey.

You will learn from us (BFRS) there is no doubt about that, but we as a service, and me personally, will learn from you as well. That’s how we will take Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service forward, and that’s how we will grow and develop for the future.”

You are about to join an elite family; I would like to welcome you to that family and I am very excited to come on this journey with you!”


Big Congratulations to:

  • Firefighter Calmeyer
  • Firefighter Champion
  • Firefighter Cooper
  • Firefighter Dear
  • Firefighter Fretwell
  • Firefighter Harris
  • Firefighter Harvey
  • Firefighter Jackson
  • Firefighter Keenan
  • Firefighter Robinson
  • Firefighter Settle
  • Firefighter Shah
  • Firefighter Wilkinson

The Silver Axe Award goes to …


In the tradition of the fire service, on every course a silver axe is presented to the top recruit for showing great self-discipline, motivation, leadership qualities throughout the course, and an exceptional attitude to learning.  This was awarded to Firefighter Kevin Steele.

Firefighter receiving the silver axe award


We are so proud to introduce cohort seven to the BFRS family. This is just the start of their journey, and we are with them every step of the way!


Thank yous

Thank you to all at BFRS who have supported the apprentices so far and helped make the event a great success. We would like to give a special thank you to The MacIntyre team who prepared and presented the delicious food for the event. You were professional and courteous as always and your food was well received by all the guests. Also to JBH photography who helped us capture the day.

Macnltyre team


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