Usually attended by family and friends the celebrations were live streamed on Facebook for the first time ever on Thursday, 20 August, so that proud loved ones could still watch the firefighters mark the end of their training journey, and so that the public could get a glimpse into what life is like for a new WYFRS recruit.
The event still included demonstrations of the team tackling a car fire, a building fire and rescuing a casualty from a mock-up road traffic collision. People watching were also treated to inspiring words from Chief Fire Officer John Roberts.
More than 7,000 people viewed the celebration live and the video was viewed a further 8,000 times over the course of the day on Thursday.
The live stream can be viewed again here.
Nine firefighters – five on-call and four wholetime – are now joining the ranks of WYFRS having completed a 15-week training course.
The course continued through the Coronavirus pandemic, with safety measures put in place at every step of the way over the last few months.
Amongst the nine new recruits is one female firefighter and one man who is the son of a retired WYFRS firefighter.
Jacob Scrimshaw, 26, is the son of Kevin Scrimshaw, who served in WYFRS for 30 years.
Before he retired last year, Kevin worked out of the fire stations in Dewsbury, Elland, Illingworth and Rastrick, and has always been an inspiration to his family.
Jacob, who lives in Halifax and will be based out of Cookridge Fire Station now that he’s graduated, said: “I’ve always been so proud of my Dad’s job. It always seemed like such an exciting job that had lots of job satisfaction, and I wanted to be part of that for as long as I can remember.
“I remember going to family events at Dewsbury Fire Station when I was young, watching chip pan fire demonstrations and mock “damsel” in distress rescues from the tower. I also recall having to be quiet during the day when my Dad had been working nights, and I always knew how hard he worked.
“The sense of comradery and a family unit always struck me as an amazing part of the Service, and I’ve definitely felt it since I joined myself.
“I’m so excited to be on the next step of my journey. My goal is to serve until I retire, just like my dad did, and I look forward to upholding the standards of the service and serving the people of West Yorkshire for years to come.”
Jacob joins new recruits who are going to be based around the county.
Chief Fire Officer, John Roberts, said: “I’m so excited to be welcoming this new group of firefighters to WYFRS.
“They have persevered through a challenging few months and have adapted with us as we’ve worked hard to continue their training in a safe way – I’d like to commend them for this. We’re really pleased that family and friends were still able to join them virtually, and it’s also exciting that members of the public have been able to tune in to our first ever virtual graduation ceremony too.
“These nine new firefighters join a very special family here at WYFRS and I wish them all the best with their future career.”
Councillor Steve Tulley, Vice Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “It’s always fantastic to see new firefighters joining the ranks of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, and none more so under what I’m sure were particularly challenging circumstances.
“The virtual ceremony gives family and friends the chance to celebrate their loved one’s achievement, and also gives people an important glimpse into the hard work that our trainees have undertaken over the last 15 weeks – I applaud each and every one of you and wish you all the best for the future.”
WYFRS is not currently recruiting full time firefighters – however is looking for on-call firefighters.
On-call firefighters are skilled people from all walks of life who offer daytime, evening and/or weekend cover at on-call fire stations in addition to their normal, day-to-day commitments. Just like their wholetime counterparts, they work on the front line protecting their community. On-call firefighters are not based at station, but when on-call, individuals must be able to reach their station within five minutes of their pager going off.
If you feel inspired by our newest recruits and live or work in Featherstone, Mirfield, Ilkley, Mytholmroyd, Otley, Silsden, or Slaithwaite then visit our website below;
Or just call into your local station to have a chat with our staff about the roles available!