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East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Welcome to our new Wholetime Firefighters!

Image of 11 Wholetime firefighters standing in front of a fire engine.jpg

For only the second time in the history of East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (ESFRS), eleven new Firefighters have joined our Wholetime Firefighter ranks after successfully completing the first eleven weeks of their Firefighter Development Apprenticeship course. Offered in collaboration with Capita Learning and the Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, the new Firefighters passed out to commence duties after 11 weeks of initial training.  

Throughout their operational training of which eight weeks were spent at the Fire Service College, ESFRS instructors were actively involved in their induction, pastoral care and a two week final period of training consolidation at our Service Training Centre, Maresfield, East Sussex, supported all the way by a team of dedicated staff working hard behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.

Steep learning curve

Nicky Fahey (T/Workforce Development Manager): “This has been a steep learning curve for all involved in the setting-up of Wholetime Firefighter Apprenticeships, and we were determined to give our Apprentices the best possible experience and introduction to East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.  Having met our second Cohort during their Induction week at Service Training Centre back in April, it was clear to see that they were determined to succeed in their training and having now watched their Pass-Out it’s a pleasure to see how far they have come.  I wish them all the very best for the future.”

Achieved high standards

Paul Markwick (Station Manager): “Throughout the process we have been actively involved in the Induction, pastoral care and consolidation of the Wholetime Apprentices.  The group is extremely positive and proactively engaged in the process to meet the challenges presented.  The Apprentices are keen to uphold the standards expected by ESFRS and are looking forward to serving the communities of East Sussex, Brighton and Hove.  The group has achieved high standards and demonstrated professionalism throughout the duration of their training and are ready and prepared to start their careers with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.” 

Growing as individuals

Annette Harrison (T/Workforce Development Co-ordinator): “It has been my pleasure to be involved with this process and provide ongoing daily support.  Being only the second time East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has offered a Wholetime Apprenticeship, there have been many challenges to overcome and long working hours to ensure things ran as smoothly as possible.  However, to see this group start with us on day one and watch them grow as individuals on their journey towards becoming Firefighters has been amazing and makes every bit of hard work worthwhile.  I wish them every success for their future.” 

An honour to serve the public

Katie Cornhill (Group Manager–Training, Learning and Development): “The initial Firefighter development training that any individual receives when they start their career in a Fire & Rescue Service is perhaps the most important acquisition of behaviours, knowledge and skills that any of us, as serving Firefighters, experience. 

Delivering highly trained and motivated Firefighters who are competent, capable, confident, and credible is something that I have taken seriously from the moment the decision was made to deliver new Firefighters to the communities we serve using the UK Government’s Apprenticeship scheme.

There are many benefits to using the Apprenticeship scheme, including the learning of new skills and putting them into practice.  During an Apprenticeship, learning will be independently assessed to make sure they achieve the behaviours, knowledge and skills needed to be a Firefighter.

Providing effective, efficient, and suitable individuals in our Service using the Apprenticeship scheme is a new experience for ESFRS, but one that our teams have risen to with pride, integrity, and respect, because we know and understand that we are accountable to the communities we serve and care for.

It is an honour to serve the public in the role of Firefighter and I feel assured that our new Apprentice Firefighters will serve you with the utmost professionalism and competence.”

We would like to give a warm welcome to our new recruits and wish them all the very best for their careers in the Fire Service.  

Leigh Evenden

Station: Roedean – Red Watch

Previous Occupation: Home Delivery Driver

Hobbies & Interests: Golf, football, badminton, other active pursuits

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Tony Timms

Station: Hove - White Watch 

Previous Occupation: Hod Carrier & Taxi Driver 

Hobbies & Interests: Football, Health & Fitness, hogging the tv remote control and time with family

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Jacob Chew

Station: Eastbourne - Red Watch

Previous Occupation: Student and worked in a Garden Centre

Hobbies & Interests: Boxing, gym, hiking, spending time with friends and family

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Luke Epaminondas

Station: Preston Circus - Green Watch

Previous Occupation: Online Coach and Personal Trainer

Hobbies & Interests: Inline Hockey, paddle boarding, skiing, fitness training, travelling and all outdoor pursuits

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David Henry

Station: The Ridge - Green Watch

Previous Occupation: Farrier

Hobbies & Interests: Running, cycling, mountain walking, coast steering

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James Howlett

Station: Eastbourne - Green Watch

Previous Occupation: Data Engineer

Hobbies & Interests: Collecting records, playing the guitar, mountain biking, cooking

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George Hunt

Station: The Ridge - Blue Watch

Previous Occupation: Police Officer

Hobbies & Interests: Music and playing music, motorbikes, travelling

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James Manuel

Station: Bohemia Road - Red Watch

Previous Occupation: Support worker for Learning Disability Services

Hobbies & Interests: Running, cycling, art, music, computer games

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James Moy

Station: Roedean - White Watch

Previous Occupation: Flight Instructor, Security Officer

Hobbies & Interests: Flying, camper van, hiking, movies

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Jordan Sayers

Station: Preston Circus - White Watch

Previous Occupation: Renewable Energy Consultant

Hobbies & Interests: Rugby, surfing, travelling, 

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Harriet McKellar

Station: Hove - Red Watch

Previous Occupation: Assistant Head of Boarding, Switzerland, 999 Call Handler, SECAMB

Hobbies & Interests: Football, hiking, skiing, surfing, travelling

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Interested in being an on-call firefighter?

On-call firefighters are ordinary people that combine their day jobs with being on call for Fire and Rescue situations and emergencies. 

When the call comes in, they drop what they are doing and become part of the East Sussex Fire and Rescue team.

It's a huge commitment, but an immensely rewarding way to serve the community, keep the public safe and earn an extra income. 

Click here to find out more about being an on-call firefighter and how you can join us.

Retained Firefighter
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