It's National Apprenticeship Week

Apprentice firefighter Jessica ElbeckIt’s a year today since I started my apprenticeship at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service so I have been asked to write a blog to promote National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 3-7 February.

Following a challenging recruitment process I remember walking into Sadler Road in Winsford for the first time and meeting the other apprentices in my cohort.

I was feeling nervous, but excited about the months ahead, and friendships were made almost immediately. This is a good thing because it’s impossible not to become close people when you are spending 16 weeks on an intensive training course together.

Fast forward to today and we are all still good friends and talk in the group chat that we initially set up to help support each other.

Jess and colleaguesI’ve been operational at Wilmslow Fire Station for nine months now and I’m working towards my competency to become a fully-trained firefighter. The programme is 36 months and will equip me with the skills and knowledge I need to be a firefighter within a modern fire and rescue service.

The role is so much more than just turning out to incidents so I’ll hopefully tell people how the apprenticeship works and the various activities I do over the course of this week, as part of the apprenticeship programme, and what it’s like to be a development Firefighter on station.

So to start off my blogging, my crew is Delta Watch at Wilmslow Fire Station and together we took part in a hazardous materials drill on our station. This was to refresh all our knowledge and make sure we are ready for any potential incident.

We were all put through different scenarios so I and my mentor Firefighter Usman Akhtar went under rapid deployment in breathing apparatus to locate a casualty in a suspected chemical spill.

We train constantly for things like this on station so that if any incidents should happen in Cheshire then we are prepared and ready to help keep communities safe.

While doing this training we are always on duty to respond to emergency calls so we may get a shout at any time during this time. I never know from one day to another just what we will be called to and that’s the exciting part of the job but there’s so much more to being a firefighters and over the course of the week I give you an insight into the role.

Apprentice Firefighter Jessica Elbeck

Related images

Apprentice firefighter Jessica Elbeck
Jess and colleagues
Jessica taking part in a hazmat exercise


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