Former Axholme Academy student Llewi Downing is storming ahead in his new firefighting career.
The teenager has completed his initial Retained Duty System recruit training with Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, and is now looking forward to beginning a two-year firefighter apprenticeship as part of the ‘red watch’, emergency services at Tata Steel in Scunthorpe.
Llewi passed out just before Christmas, following a 12-week course that covered all aspects of firefighting. This included training with specialist breathing apparatus, and safety when working at heights.
He was thrilled to receive his award from Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dene Sanders after each of six new recruits shown senior fire officers, families and friends, how they had trained to cut people free of car crashes on the training grounds.
DCO Sanders was full of praise for those who had completed their training, with special mention for Llewi who will also provide some retained cover at Crowle Fire Station, within his own home community, when not at Tata Steel:
Mr Sanders said: “I am delighted to see how our retained firefighters have become more and more integrated into the service. They all live within five minutes of their respective stations and serving your own village or town brings a real sense of community”.
Llewi was selected to apply for the apprenticeship after completing a two year BTEC Level Two programme in the ‘Fire and Rescue Service in the Community’ at Scunthorpe Fire Station after choosing the course as part of his options in year nine.
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service has been an offsite training provider for this BTEC Level Two qualification since 2006, and has been recorded as an example of best practice by Ofsted inspectors.
The apprenticeship scheme has been seen as a first step towards future recruitment by Humberside Fire and Rescue Service.
There has been no recruitment of full-time staff in the fire service for the past seven years, but officials claim they are beginning to see signs of recovery.
The new apprentice scheme is the first ever to be run by the service.