On Thursday, 21 March, a Graduation Ceremony and Passing Out Parade was held by Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) for the latest cohort of Wholetime Firefighters.

Held at the Service’s Earlswood Training Centre, the event was an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the amazing achievements of the 12 individuals - known collectively as Squad 01/24 - who have recently completed their On-Call to Wholetime conversion course, and in the company of their friends and families.

Following an extensive recruitment process where a variety of challenges were met as part of a rigorous selection process, Squad 01/24 began their eight-week residential course on January 25.  Since then, they have each developed the initial skills and attributes needed to undertake their new roles as Wholetime Firefighters. 

They have received training on how to respond to a variety of emergencies in a range of scenarios, such as water rescue, working at height, protecting the environment and more.  They have also worked closely with the Service’s Community Safety and Business Fire Safety Teams to further develop their knowledge and skills in fire prevention work, enabling them to fully integrate within our Community Fire Stations.

The Ceremony included the Parade of Recruits, where they were joined by the Service’s Colour Party, and an Inspection of the Recruits by Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas, Chair of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Gwynfor Thomas and Head of Training Delivery, Stuart Bate.  Several Drill Yard Displays were then held to fully illustrate the emergency response skills each member of the Squad has developed during their training, which were followed by a Presentation of Certificates and Awards.

As well as each recruit’s friends and families, Chief Fire Officer Thomas, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Iwan Cray, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Craig Flannery along with several members of the Service’s Executive Leadership Team, were also in attendance.

While officially opening the Ceremony, Chief Fire Officer Thomas said: ”Today celebrates the remarkable achievements made by these 12 exceptional individuals who have undergone eight weeks of rigorous training and marks a significant point in the careers as Wholetime Firefighters.”