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New recruits at AFRS become aviation qualified and firefighters promoted

This May two new Airport Fire and Rescue Service recruits finalised their initial Firefighter Foundation and Development Programme.

They were then enrolled onto a further aviation specific firefighting training course locally, beyond their ongoing individual development programmes.

This was undertaken throughout the summer period and concluded a few weeks ago with Firefighters Alain Pons and Julian Lopez, now being fully qualified for both Aviation and Structural firefighting.

This has been a first for the AFRS given that initial specialist aviation firefighting and rescue training has always been previously carried out at UK fire training centres.

“Given the lockdown circumstances a course to meet the required criteria had to be designed from scratch and embarked upon locally at the Airport Fire Station. It required tailoring the course content to meet the AFRS’s operational needs, ensuring that all the required specialist skills and competencies were met and appropriately fulfilled, whilst maintaining compliance with both UK and international aviation firefighting standards,” said a statement from AFRS.

“A comprehensive course syllabus was therefore developed by applying full knowledge of the operational expectations as well as from the experience gained through years of attendance to numerous training courses and other industry exposure. It was very effectively coordinated by AFRS instructors and worked well in alignment with the fire crews own scheduled training programme. This covered instruction on aircraft construction, engine and power systems, pressurized fuel line and
wheel fires as well as the various rescue techniques which may be required to gain access into a damaged airframe to extricate trapped persons. It also included familiarization of the primary risks within the airfield as well as the wider areas hazards which may be encountered and the consequent mitigating and safety actions that may be required,” the statement added.

Also during June, and following a promotion board, Firefighter Jamie Linares was promoted to Leading Firefighter. Leading Firefighter Linares joined the Fire Service in 2012 and has since become a qualified instructor for Breathing Apparatus, Road Traffic Collision and Working at Height. Additionally, he is a qualified Hydraulic Rescue Equipment Servicer and also attended the LNG Awareness and Incident Command Course in Rotterdam. He has already taken up his post in White Watch and will now focus on consolidating within his new role, whilst simultaneously developing his knowledge and skills for the continued improvement of the operational output.