Passing out parade for Charmouth recruits

Charmouth firefighters James Lathey, Ben Perry and George Skewes pictured at their recent passing out parade

DORSET & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue (DWFRS) Service held its third pass out parade for new firefighters at Salisbury fire station earlier this month.

Thirteen firefighters, who have successfully passed their Firefighter Acquisition Training Courses, received certificates from Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell in front of their families, friends and colleagues.

Distinguished guests at the event included the Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Sarah Rose Troughton; Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset, The Honorable Tim Palmer; High Sheriff of Wiltshire, David Scott DL; and members of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

During the parade, the group of firefighters held a training display which simulated a property fire and included the use of an aerial ladder platform and two fire engines.

Three of the recruits taking part in the parade are based at Charmouth fire station.

Firefighter James Lathey said: “I joined the Service in April 2016 and completed my final competency assessment in June 2019. The application process was fairly quick, taking four months from applying online to my first drill night.

“Being part of the fire and rescue service is great, it gives me a real sense of helping in our small community and increases the social aspect that I may not have got working for myself in my day job.”

Ben Perry added: “I joined the Fire and Rescue Service as I wanted to do something worthwhile and beneficial for my community.

“The crew on station have helped me to find the correct balance between my full-time job and being on-call. I have seen the positive impact first-hand that our station can provide to emergency incidents, and working for DWFRS has been far more rewarding than I had expected.

“Individually, and as a member of a crew, I feel like I’m making a real difference.”

George Skewes joined the service to learn new skills and do something worthwhile for the community. Since joining, he has become more capable and more versatile which has benefited him personally.

The one thing he enjoys most is working with great individuals as part of a team.

Head of Learning and Organisational Development, area manager Kathy Collis, said: “Our pass out parade is a significant milestone in the firefighter development process. It is also a great occasion for family and friends to be able to celebrate the achievements of our new firefighters and see first-hand what they have learnt.

“My congratulations go to them all, and I hope they all have long and enjoyable careers with us.”

To find out more about becoming an on-call firefighter, visit the website

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