A carpenter and supermarket assistant have just switched careers to join the frontline at Ely Fire Station.
Carpenter Craig Fishpoole, 30, of Sutton, was an on-call firefighter for eight years at Cottenham and Sutton Fire Stations, while Linton supermarket assistant Richard Gethin, 20, was an on-call firefighter at his local station.
Both men will be based at Ely Fire Station for the next year and are among over 20 new whole-time recruits across Cambridgeshire.
The new recruits include Coco Chambers, 28, of Witcham, who used to work at an equine hospital in Newmarket, and will be based at Stanground Fire Station in Peterborough.
Personal trainer and rugby player David Bainsfair, 25, from Ely, will be joining Cambridge Fire Station.
The firefighters will begin their operational careers across the county with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) following an intensive 11-week training course.
During training the new recruits are put through their paces, learning how to deal with an array of emergency situations including fires, rescues from water and road traffic collisions.
Their training culminated on Thursday (December 8) with a demonstration and pass out parade at Cardiff Gate, where the course had been delivered in partnership with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland said: “We are excited to welcome this cohort of new firefighters to CFRS to begin what is hopefully a great career with the fire service.
“There are many challenges that a firefighter in a modern fire and rescue service must face. As well as the physical challenges at operational incidents, they must also work closely and engage with communities to deliver lifesaving advice.
“The role of a firefighter has changed and this diverse group of people from different backgrounds and all walks of life shows just how wide the appeal is to become a firefighter and deliver the valuable work we do in the community.
“We wish this group of firefighters the best of luck and hope they enjoy helping us to make Cambridgeshire a safer place.”
Station Commander Matthew Murdoch, from CFRS’s Training Centre, added: “These 20 new firefighters have been put through their paces in a challenging training course and it is a real achievement for them and our training staff that they got through the selection process and intensive course.
“I wish every individual in this group of firefighters all the very best in the career that lies ahead of them knowing CFRS and the talented staff we have here will support them to become truly great firefighters.”