West Yorkshire's newest firefighters begin their careers following ceremony

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service welcomes 11 new firefighters following the latest pass-out ceremony at HQ

April 22 pass out

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service welcomed 11 new firefighters yesterday (Wednesday 13 April) following the organisation’s latest pass-out ceremony at the Birkenshaw headquarters.

The ceremony was held following a 14-week intensive firefighter trainee course which teaches skills including rescuing casualties, using firefighting equipment and working as a team.

On completion of the course, the graduates become part of a service that serves a population of more than two million people spread over an area of almost 800 square miles.

The firefighters now stand trained and ready to deal with a range of emergencies including road, rail or air crashes, floods, chemical spills and even terrorist attacks.

Chief Fire Officer of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, John Roberts, said I am delighted to celebrate the graduation of our firefighters from our 204th trainee course. We are all very proud and impressed with West Yorkshire’s newest firefighters and we are immensely pleased with the transformation that has happened over the last 14 weeks.

It is extremely encouraging to observe the attitude, determination and dedication of our trainees, as it is within the best traditions of the service.

In recent years the role of the service, and firefighter, has changed significantly to keep pace with the changing risks and demands within our communities. The course will have gone a long way to providing the trainees with a solid foundation of operational knowledge on which to build their careers.

However, this is only the beginning and they will continue to learn and develop throughout their careers, so they can keep all the communities that make up West Yorkshire as safe as possible from fire and other emergencies. I wish every firefighter graduating today a very long, happy and safe career, and that they rightly get the appreciation from the communities of West Yorkshire that they deserve.”

The 11 include:

  • Firefighter Smith, who joined the course as on-call but passed the wholetime selection process whilst on the course and will now join Halifax Red Watch and Mythomroyd.
  • Firefighter Mortimer who first applied in 2005 and has finally now been successful, joining Hunslet White Watch.
  • Firefighter Sheard who has been a full-time mother for last seven years, joining Wakefield White Watch.
  • Firefighter Jonny Lee who will join Stanningley White Watch and was awarded Top Trainee.
  • Firefighter Wes McGibbon who will join Huddersfield Green Watch and was awarded The Trainees Trainee accolade.
  • And finally, firefighter Mortimer, who will join Hunslet White Watch and went from scoring 50% on his first test to 100% on his final exam!

There are approximately 950 full-time operational personnel at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, and a further 145 on-call firefighters that work on the retained duty system, (meaning they have full-time employment elsewhere but are available for emergencies on a pager system), and 45 in the service’s mobilising and control centre.

To enquire about careers at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service visit