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New firefighters join the Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Service and Airport Fire and Rescue Service

The Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Service and Airport Fire and Rescue Service, welcomed two new recruits to their respective ranks following their successful completion of the Firefighter Foundation and Development Programme (FFDP) with the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, UK, a first for both organisations.

Recruit Firefighters Neil Wink and Aidon Asquez successfully completed what was a gruelling fifteen-week programme with continuous mental and physical assessments throughout.

The trainees have undergone weekly firefighting drills, written exams and a rigorous fitness regime to ensure they are prepared to protect the community.

Modules covered include basic core skills such as pumps and ladders, hose drills, knots and lines, working at height, the even more rigorous Road Traffic Collision and Breathing Apparatus and Compartment Fire Behaviour Training.

Additionally, training has also been received in Trauma Care and Community Fire Safety.

Each Fire Service will now concentrate their efforts towards more specific skills, commensurate with their own areas of expertise.

The GFRS firefighter will complete a two-week diving course for sub surface diver rescue and a further two weeks of Rope Rescue Level One Operator’s course. The AFRS Firefighter is currently furthering his skills with a two-week Aviation Firefighting and Rescue course in UK.

All his training will be followed up locally on his return with a structured programme to take him through an 18-month operationally assessed Development Phase.

CFO Colin Ramirez and SFO Nicky Viñales stated in a joint statement that it is often underestimated how hard it is to become a Fire Fighter.

“It is even harder to maintain your skills and face live scenarios and challenges that threaten your own safety and that of Gibraltar’s community,” they said.

“This fifteen-week course sets the foundations for a career that will expose these Fire Fighters to the numerous risks that surround us and that we have a duty to manage. The demands are enormous, and they will, at times, be pushed to the limit.”

“It is up to us to ensure Fire Fighters Wink and Asquez have the necessary support to continue their development throughout their respective careers.”

“On behalf of both the GFRS and the AFRS, we would like to wish these two Fire Fighters the very best going forward and truly hope they enjoy the experience of forming part of this family, serving our community whilst also having a successful career in the Fire and Rescue Service.”

The Minister for the Fire Service, Leslie Bruzon added his congratulations to the new recruits, on their successful completion of the FFDP.

“We commend their dedication, resilience, and hard work, and wish them a rewarding and impactful career in the Fire and Rescue Services, confident that they will significantly contribute to the safety and well-being of our community,” he said.

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