Welcome from the Chief
Apprenticeships within the Service
As a Service, we are committed to a series of Apprenticeship Programmes which are open to young people interested in becoming fire and rescue employees of the future.
We have recently advertised vacancies for Firefighter Apprentices, and are currently recruiting Fleet Apprentices.
The fire and rescue service is not just about firefighting – there are a wide variety of accredited apprenticeship programmes of varying length across a whole range of departments.
These apprentices will learn how to play a vital role in the protection of our communities in North Wales, providing a whole range of support – including response and protection, delivering community safety programmes, ensuring businesses comply with fire safety regulations, helping to promote fire safety campaigns, as well as ensuring fire and rescue service vehicles are maintained correctly.
This is the first time that we have extended our apprenticeship opportunities to such a wide range of departments and functions.
Our training provides the apprentices with a range of practical and theoretical skills and enables them to play an important role with us, supported by coaching and mentoring as well as regular assessments.
The programmes form an important part of our vision for the future as we plan ahead to prepare for future challenges and seek innovative solutions to enable us adapt to communities as they change around us.
Modern apprenticeships form a key part of the national employment strategy and we are proud to be able to offer this support to young people.
In addition to the roles already advertised, this year Apprenticeship Programmes will also be available in the areas of community safety, business fire safety and corporate communications.
To find out more click here, and to view a video on the apprenticeship opportunities available, please click here.
Put it out, Right Out!
This month smokers across North Wales will be stubbing out their cigarettes for good in support of National No Smoking Day.
I for one welcome the rise in the number of people giving up cigarettes as smokers are at far greater risk of having a fire in their home. Very often, house fires caused by smoking materials also involve other contributory factors, such as drinking alcohol – but cigarettes are a fire risk in themselves, and when combined with carelessness or drowsiness, they can be a tragedy just waiting to happen.
Some people will be taking a big step this month and will be throwing away their cigarettes and replacing them with an electronic cigarette, also known as an e-cigarette. This latest gadget is an electronic inhaler that vaporises a liquid solution into an aerosol mist, stimulating the act of tobacco smoking, and for some has assisted them in giving up the habit.
But all e-cigarettes use a rechargeable battery to power the vaporiser, these batteries require to be recharged on a regular basis, and a number of incidents have been reported nationally whereby the battery has either overheated or exploded during the charging process.
Although I encourage you to stub out your cigarettes this month, I do also urge you to take extra care if you decide to swap the matches for a charger, to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidance, and to only use the battery and charger that was provided with the e-cigarette.
Last August crews encountered a fire caused by an e-cigarette left on charge which caused 100% fire damage to a bedroom and 100% smoke damage to the rest of the first floor. The incident highlighted how quickly a fire can spread - and the importance of using electrical items correctly.
However, if you do not yet feel ready to give up cigarettes, smokers can follow some simple precautions to help prevent a fire in the home. These include taking extra care when you're tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol, and never smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, don't light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire.
Remember never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended and always buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes. Keep these where children can't reach them. Also, use a proper, heavy ashtray that can't tip over easily and is made of a material that won't burn. Make sure your cigarette is not still burning when you are finished - put it out, right out.
Finally, tap your ash into an ashtray, never a wastebasket containing other rubbish - and don't let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray.