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Meet Trainee Wholetime Firefighter Jess Rintoul

With week one complete, Jess tells us what drew him to the Service and what training has been like for the new recruits.

About Me

I was really excited to start this course, it’s a great mix of physical and mental hard work which appeals to me. I’ve wanted to be a Firefighter for a few years now, I really like the idea of being able to get out into my community and actually make a difference to people’s day to day lives.

Before starting training with DFRS I studied Venue Design and Architecture at Derby University and went on to work in property with my local estate agents. My previous work in property and deep understanding of building design and common layouts should help me in my role as a Firefighter.

The selection process was really tough and there were a lot of applicants. Many aspects were tested during selection, from physical health to our ability to work with people and decision making under pressure. The toughest part of the process for me was the interview; it lasted an hour and went through our knowledge and understanding of the Fire Service.

So far the course has been really interesting and the learning curve has been seriously steep. I don’t come from a Services background, or even know anyone who is, so I’m already realising there’s so much more to the role than you could imagine.

Week 1 - Protection

The week started with us all sorting our fire kits, learning about the ranking system in the Service and how to properly address all the senior officers. As the week progressed we covered the rules and regulations that instruct us on what we can and can’t do.

For me, the most interesting part of the week was learning about building materials and what to expect when entering buildings. It’s good that we learn this early on in the course, before the typical “fire fighting” as it gives us a much broader understanding of what we’re going in to and the risk involved.

The group is made up of a really good bunch of people who all clearly have their own expertise and backgrounds that I can learn from. The more I learn, the more respect I gain for fire and the damage it can do. It pushes me to learn as much as I can to protect myself, my crew and the public when on the scene. I’m looking forward to the next few weeks of training, getting out on the drill yard and learning some more skills.