The ranks of Cumbria’s fire service have grown following the graduation of the latest group of new full-time and apprentice firefighter recruits.

Having completed their training, the new recruits will now join crews at fire stations throughout the county.

The completion of their training was celebrated with a socially distanced passing out parade held last Thursday at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s headquarters in Penrith, though due to Covid-19 restrictions friends and family could not attend.

During the passing out event, the firefighters showcased their fire and rescue skills and techniques with a series of practical demonstrations, including rescuing casualties from a mock road traffic collision and a high rise “blaze”.

They were then presented with certificates of recognition by Cumbria County Council’s chief fire officer Steve Healey.

The accolade for “top trainee” was awarded to firefighter Ellie Harrison, who was presented with a silver axe in recognition of her outstanding achievements throughout the course.

Cumbria’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer John Beard said: “I’d like to warmly welcome our latest recruits to Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service. Running an intensive firefighter training programme during the Covid-19 pandemic has been testing for our new recruits and our training team but they’ve risen to the challenge.

“The passing out parade was a testament to their hard work and skills. I know they’ve all worked exceptionally hard and their achievements are well deserved. We look forward to helping them grow and develop long and successful careers with Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.”

Janet Willis, Cumbria County Council cabinet member for fire and rescue, congratulated the latest cohort of Cumbrian firefighters.

“Congratulations to our latest recruits who have completed their training and gained valuable experience in practical firefighting,” she said.

“We wish them well in their future careers with Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.”