Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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A FORMER Paratrooper, boxing grandmother and a design agency account manager are just some of the 18 people joining the frontline in Greater Manchester.
The new firefighters will begin their operational careers across the county with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) following an intensive 16-week training course.
During training the new firefighters have been 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 (Dec 15) with a demonstration and pass out parade at Manchester Training and Development Centre, where the course had been delivered.
Peter O’Reilly, County Fire Officer and Chief Executive said: “On behalf of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), the Chair and members of the Fire Authority I would like to firstly congratulate and welcome the latest firefighters.
“After having been through an intensive 16 week training course the new firefighters are joining a proud service which is on the cutting edge of future firefighting techniques. This course has given each of the new firefighters invaluable skills and seen them undergo rigorous tests to ensure they are ready to effectively serve the people of Greater Manchester as firefighters.
"Their hard work and training has culminated into a passing out parade, attended by friends and families, where drills and exercises will be performed before the official presentation.
“I would like to finish by saying to all the new fire fighters, welcome to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, I wish you all the very best for your future careers with GMFRS.”
The new fire fighters will be working for their first year at the following fire stations:
Trafford and Salford
Glenn Innis (27) will be based at Salford Fire Station. Glenn plays a variety of sports and is proud to be a firefighter at GMFRS.
Chris Arnison (24) will be based at Eccles Fire Station. In his spare time Chris likes to keep fit by playing football or boxing.
Jéan-Pierre Prinsloo (32) will be based at Eccles Fire Station. Jéan-Pierre is used to hard work and being part of a team having previously been a Paratrooper.
Dan Taylor (32) will be based at Phillips Park Fire Station. When at home Dan likes to play bass guitar and read to help relax.
Kyle Barnett (24) will be based at Gorton Fire Station. Kyle has previously worked as a fire ground assistant, enjoying football and football management in his spare time.
Ben Kenny (24) will be based at Blackley Fire Station. Ben has took on the challenge of not just becoming a firefighter but perhaps harder still – becoming a parent, with his partner due to give birth soon.
Laura-Jo Dicken (22) will be based at Wythenshawe Fire Station. Laura is this year’s winner of the silver axe, given to the top performing fire fighter and she is also the first female firefighter to win the award.
Rachelle Brooks (44) will be based at Moss Side Fire Station. Rachelle is a talented boxer and does a lot of work with young offenders.
Christian Connolly (25) will be based at Wythenshawe Fire Station. Christian is excited to progress in his fire service career and looks forward to learning from the team he’ll be in.
Stockport and Tameside
Joe Malone (23) will be based at Ashton Fire Station. Joe is an avid football supporter, always keeping up to date with how Manchester City are doing.
Curtis Parris (27) will be based at Hyde Fire Station. Curtis is a keen sportsman, often taking part in football, basketball or athletics.
Oldham, Bury and Rochdale
Jenna Cahill (30) will be based at Hollins Fire Station. Jenna spends a lot of time with her family whilst occasionally partaking in her old hobbies – gymnastics and cheerleading.
Chelsea Thomason (23) will be based at Rochdale Fire Station. Chelsea spends her free time with friends and family, often watching films at the cinema with them.
Michelle Armitage (29) will be based at Rochdale Fire Station. Michelle is originally from New Zealand so is naturally a lover of the outdoors – enjoying exploring farms, parks and the great outdoors.
Sam Smith (28) will be based at Whitefield Fire Station. When not working Sam likes to keep fit by playing football and going to the gym.
Bolton and Wigan
Graham Holmes (34) will be based at Farnworth Fire Station. Graham is one of our fittest new firefighters, having gained numerous fitness qualifications which help him deliver Personal Training.
Jack McCarthy (27) will be based at Farnworth Fire Station. Jack is a family man and enjoys taking his daughters out to see new places.
Oliver Doyle (24) will be based at Bolton Fire Station. Oliver is a keen musician and enjoys playing the classic guitar in his spare time.
Tony Bryan, Operational Training Delivery Manager at GMFRS Training Centre, added: "These 18 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 GMFRS and the talented staff we have here will support them to become truly great firefighters."