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Former cadet works her way to a full time job in the fire service

A former cadet, who went on to volunteer with the fire service has now started working at the station where it all began.

Tamsin Carmichael was just 12-years-old when she joined the West Denton Fire Cadet unit.

When she turned 18 last year she became a volunteer with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service as a cadet instructor at her former cadet branch.

And now the 18-year-old from Blakelaw has come full circle by starting her working career at West Denton.

Tamsin said: “My grandad was a firefighter for 30 years so that’s where my interest in the fire service began. When I found out I could become a cadet I knew that I’d love it.

“It feels like coming home having been here at West Denton as a fire cadet, supporting the cadets as an instructor and now starting my new role as a Fire Safety Clerk. IT’s brilliant to be able to have a job for an organisation I’m so passionate about and play a bigger role in creating the safest community.”

Overseeing the West Denton Fire Cadet branch is instructor Karen Soady who has known Tamsin from her cadet days.

Karen said: “Tamsin joined the cadets when she was 12 and made an immediate impact both with the instructors and also her fellow cadets. She always gave 100% and attended as many outside events as possible to give back to the local community. This led to Tamsin representing her cadet branch to receive a Social Action Award from HRH Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

“Her main and most valuable contribution has always been supporting, mentoring and inspiring the younger cadets; making them feel at home very quickly and developing them into confident young people.

“Since reaching 18 this has continued as Tamsin has become a volunteer with her own cadet unit where she continues to motivate and support all our cadets and offer invaluable support to the core instructors.

“The fact that she has now secured a position as a Fire Safety Clerk with the Service at the same station where she attended and now supports cadets is no more than she deserves. Tamsin is an exceptional young woman who continues to inspire other young people around her. Everyone at West Denton Fire Cadet unit is very proud of her.”

Tamsin in her Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service uniform
Tamsin in her Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service uniform

Tamsin started her role as Fire Safety Clerk within the Fire Safety department of the Service in mid-May.

Richie Rickaby Head of Fire Safety at TWFRS said: “I’d like to welcome Tamsin into the Fire Safety department. Her new role as Fire Safety Clerk will involve her being the first point of contact for the public and business community when directing initial enquiries to the Fire Safety office.

“Other duties will include updating data bases, providing support and facilitating the Fire Safety Inspector’s appointments with business to ensure effective and efficient use of resources.

“She will gain knowledge of other departments to understand their responsibilities which will ensure she can support customer needs when dealing with enquiries.

“Tamsin will also be working with key stakeholders such as local authorities including building control departments ensuring we provide timely responses to Building Regulation consultations, ensuring we keep the businesses of Tyne and Wear safe.”