Welcoming the faces of tomorrow

It’s not just new firefighters who have joined one of the regions’ largest Fire and Rescue Service – new voices of hope have joined their Fire Control.

In the last year Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have welcomed 100 new firefighter recruits into their organisation.

The investment in the workforce will transform the face of the organisation with dozens more new recruits set to join in the coming months.

But it is not just firefighters who are being recruited to keep communities safe as an influx of new staff have entered their Fire Control.

Fire Control are responsible for taking the initial 999 call, quickly identifying risk and then deploying the most appropriate response.

They also help run incident command from a central point and work with other emergency services and partners for extra support.

Now, after four weeks of intensive training, newbie Chris Morris has joined one of the four operational shifts and will help handle fire response across the region.

With a background in sales, the 29-year-old is used to working under pressure but he is ready to put that experience to the test in his new role.

And although he is nervous, his confidence builds every shift when his quick thinking and decision making skills are tested by responding to live incidents.

“I have been in the Service for two months now and if anyone is thinking about joining the fire service, in any role, I’d say go for it,” said Chris.

“It’s true what they say, no two days are the same, and I have loved every minute of it because I can see I am making a difference.

“It’s a challenge everyday but I’m glad I took the chance because, although my background might not lend itself to working at Fire Control, it’s really helped.

“I know how to take control of a situation and use language to keep people onside, something critical for this role.

“People call us normally at their worst moments and I know that I can help by just answering the phone and doing my job.

“My colleagues have also been really supportive and I am really proud to be play a part in creating the safest community here in Tyne and Wear.”