HAMPSHIRE Fire and Rescue has taken on its largest ever intake of on-call trainee firefighters as the service expands its ranks.
A total of 26 trainees started the eight-day course on Monday, more than trebling the average number of eight from previous intakes.
The service said the increase was due to a series of high-profile campaigns over the last six months.
Academy station manager Jason Boh said: ‘Having a new intake of on-call firefighters is great news for the people of Hampshire.
‘These dedicated life-savers fit being a firefighter in between other jobs and family commitments, and come from all walks of life.
‘These people are part of the fabric that holds every fire service in the country together and the world-class training they get at the academy helps make them the best.’
The trainees will learn ladder, hose and fire ground techniques during the course.
They will also do further training to add to their skills on a regular basis and attend weekly drill nights.
The group, made up of three women and 23 men, will provide cover across the county in 16 busy locations including Waterlooville and Droxford.
Current on-call officers are also responsible for making contact with businesses based near stations, attending community events, taking part in career days and launching targeted social media campaigns.
The course comes weeks after Hampshire’s fire service took on 27 extra firefighters to work across the county