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Fire Station enhanced by three new on-call firefighters

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THREE new recruits have joined Penketh Fire Station, Warrington as on-call firefighters after successfully completing their training.

Samantha Cross, Simon Woodward and Phillip Massey underwent a vigorous training course over several months to become on-call firefighters.

Their hard work culminated in a passing-out parade at The Park Royal Hotel in Warrington.

The event was attended by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin, Deputy chairman of Cheshire Fire Authority Cllr Stef Nelson and the High Sheriff of Cheshire Alexis Redmond.

Following the ceremony, Gus O’Rouke, Assistant Chief Officer, said: “I would like to congratulate Samantha, Simon and Phillip for completing their training and to welcome them to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“Working with the fire and rescue service is a thoroughly rewarding experience. It gives individuals the opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds and meet people in the community, as well as to respond to emergency incidents within Cheshire.

“Samantha, Simon and Phillip are now all on-call firefighters at Penketh Fire Station and are paid for the work they do responding to emergencies.”

Samantha, who lives on a farm in Penketh, was previously a stunt performer working in television.

The 25-year-old dog owner also manages bars and her hobbies include climbing mountains, horse riding and going for trips on her motorbike.

She said: “To anyone else considering becoming an on-call firefighter, I encourage you to go for it.

“I really enjoyed the training – some areas were challenging but equally very rewarding – and I love the job satisfaction of helping others.

“I continue to learn and push myself, both physically and mentally, and everyone at my station has been so welcoming and helpful in my journey.

“However, it is a vocation and not just a job and therefore requires commitment.”

Fellow Penketh resident Simon works as a chemical process engineer across Warrington and Manchester for United Utilities in his primary job.

In his spare time the 30-year-old enjoys weightlifting, acrobatics and golf.

Simon said: “I wanted to join the on-call team at Penketh to make friends in the community and learn some new and exciting skills.

“The initial training was tough but very rewarding.

“I have met some great friends, learned about fire and rescue and pushed myself to achieving things that two years ago I would not have thought possible.”

Phillip lives in Warrington with his wife and two daughters.

Alongside his on-call firefighter role, the 34-year-old is a fire safety inspector for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Phillip said: “I have wanted to be a firefighter ever since I was in school, to follow in the footsteps of my dad, who served in Cheshire for 30 years. I was inspired by his experiences and stories.

“The training was challenging, both physically and mentally, but I found it extremely enjoyable and it is structured to ensure that the key skills are developed correctly.

“The support received from the firefighters on station throughout the training process was second to none, which helped to develop friendships and maintain the team mentality.

“I would urge anyone to consider becoming an on-call firefighter. It is a big commitment alongside our primary employment. However, it is a hugely rewarding job.

“The on-call team at Penketh are a fantastic group of people and friendships develop because of the reliance and trust we put into one another.”

To find out more about on-call firefighters and recruitment visit www.cheshirefire.gov.uk/jobs/on-call-firefighter-recruitment.

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