Welcome to the Flames: Latest MFRS Recruits Pass Out in Ceremony


Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) has welcomed 20 of its latest firefighters and four of its newest Fire Control operators to the organisation at today’s Pass Out Ceremony at the Training and Development Academy (TDA).  

The ceremony was a culmination of weeks of learning, development and progression – 16 weeks for the apprentice firefighters and 10 weeks for the apprentice Fire Control operators.

Across the four months, the firefighter recruit course included training on breathing apparatus, pumps and ladders, compartment fire behaviour, first response emergency care, road traffic collisions, compressed air foam systems, methods of entry, water rescue, working at height and hazardous material, as well as insights into National Resilience and Operational Assurance.

During the Fire Control recruit course, four weeks were spent at the TDA, gaining knowledge about MFRS, communication systems and the computerised mobilising system, and call handling training. The remaining six weeks were spent in the control room at Service Headquarters within an inclusive learning environment and eventually taking emergency calls.

Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside Mr Mark Blundell, MFRS Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan, MFRS senior officers and family and friends of the recruits attended the Pass Out celebration, which included a drill display demonstration, presentations by the recruit firefighters, and presentation of certificates.

CFO Garrigan said: “I’m delighted that our recruits have successfully completed the most demanding training course in the UK fire and rescue service to become operational firefighters and control operators here in Merseyside. This training has been crucial in preparing them for the varied and challenging role ahead of them – which goes way beyond fighting fires or answering 999 calls. I am extremely proud of each and every one of them and I wish them a long and happy career with the Service we care so passionately about.”

The recruits of firefighter course 03/23 come from a variety of different backgrounds, including multiple teachers, a rugby player, events manager and mine rescue technician. Former occupations of Fire Control Course 03/23 include a massage therapist, senior orthodontic nurse, hospitality assistant manager and VAT advisor.

24-year-old Samuel Hawley was named Top Recruit for firefighter course 03/23. Samuel was nominated by his peers and instructors alike, having excelled technically, academically, and more importantly, through the values and behaviours he exhibited.

The firefighter recruits will now be posted to community fire stations across Merseyside to continue their apprenticeship training as firefighters in development until they become fully competent firefighters. Fire Control apprentices will enter the control room and start full shifts as operators.

Today’s Passing Out Ceremony also marked the last at our Training and Development Academy (TDA) situated on Storrington Avenue, after 57 years’ service.

The school was opened on 26 April 1967 by Alderman Herbert Allen. The site consisted of a teaching block, reception area and dining room, and a fire training house that used live fire to provide realistic training for recruits.

Over the years, the site improved and boasted a realistic fire building that operate on gas, a large appliance garage, and enhanced classroom facilities. Further expansion saw the construction of an Urban Search and Rescue Training Rig, which completed the existing ‘rubble pile’ training facility.

A specialist Driving School has been a key part of Storrington Avenue’s day to day work with LGV (formerly HGV) and a range of other courses taught including Emergency Fire Appliance Driving (EFAD).

Having served firstly Liverpool Fire Brigade and then Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service since its inception in April 1974, ushering in generations of firefighters and fire service personnel and keeping Merseyside safe, the training school has now reached the end of its life. Today we show our gratitude for the service of the Training and Development Academy at Storrington Avenue.

We are building a state-of-the-art training facility, National Resilience centre of excellence and multi-pump superstation on Long Lane in Aintree, which will be completed this year and will take the next generation forward.