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Firefighter Recruits Graduate

Last week Baz and Linda attended the graduation ceremony for the 71st Firefighter Recruits. It was a great event and a huge privilege to be invited. A formal ceremony with speeches, certificates and awards was followed by a number of displays of firefighter skills demonstrating their work at a Road Traffic Accident, dealing with fire and heights, and a final fun (but arduous) relay between the recruits.

It poured with rain but this didn’t dampen spirits. The day was filled with pride, relief, fun and honour and a celebration of all the Recruits’ and Trainers’ hard work. Families and friends, as well as local dignitaries, were there to congratulate and celebrate. With South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Training and Development Centre producing recruits like the 71st, we are in safe hands.

And this got me thinking about emergency services and preventative work. We all hope we don’t ever need to see the skill and expertise of our Firefighters in an emergency situation. And much of their work is around prevention, education and support to make the need for their emergency services less rather than more likely. But when needed, what a relief to know they are there!

Our services have been described by others as ‘insurance.’ Hoping we won’t be needed to help with crises and critical incidents, but relieved when we are. One organisation described it as ‘feeling like you’ve come and wrapped us all in a warm blanket’ after one particularly difficult incident. However, we’re not just there for the crises. Preventative and early intervention is the bread and butter of our work – providing opportunities for people to chat, to offload, to discuss general life issues – no need to wait for a crisis or unexpected event.

Don’t wait for overwhelm before thinking about your emotional health and well-being. Talk freely, access support, place your well-being as a priority, take a pro-active approach to what you need to thrive. Just as you would place smoke alarms and think about fire safety in the home and office, think about strategies you can put in place for mental health and emotional safety. And if you need us, we’ll be there.

Thank you @SYFR and well done to the 14 recruits on your graduation.

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