Daniel, Operational Firefighter Apprentice

Prior to becoming an operational firefighter, Dan worked within MFRS' Prevention Department as a Vulnerable Persons Advocate. He passed out as an operational firefighter in December 2020 having completed the 15-week training course. He is now completing his Level 3 Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship as part of White Watch at Southport Community Fire Station.

It was a childhood dream to become a firefighter. I was always attracted to the job as I liked the idea of helping people. As I got older I started looking into the job role further and learnt the different aspects of the role through being a Fire Cadet and then working within Prevention - it's so much more than just putting out fires.

MFRS is my local fire and rescue service and I want to help people in my community, and being part of that community helps me in my role as a firefighter as I have an understanding of the risks within my station area, along with knowledge of local partner agencies and councils who we work with regularly.

I've only been operational on station since January 2021 but so far I am enjoying the camaraderie with the other firefighters on my watch. They are invested in my development and I know I can approach them if I have any questions or want to drill with a certain piece of equipment. 

The recruit course was difficult, both mentally and physically - you are pushed outside of your comfort zone but that camaraderie with your other recruits is what gets you through it. As each week goes on you learn a new module and are assessed with realistic scenarios such as live fire exercises, road traffic collisions, swimming in open water etc. The feeling on pass out day is surreal when you are presented with your firefighter epaulettes and your station posting - it makes the long days of training and long nights of revision all worth it.

So far I'm in my development period, the apprenticeship side of the job has involved collecting evidence of our personal development on station. This includes drilling with the crew, delivering presentations and activity logs from responding to incidents. I will be assessed quarterly over a two year period. This allows me to maintain my skills to a high standard and develop into a fully competent firefighter.