High Sheriff finds out about life as a firefighter

Crews demonstrate their skills and talk about on-call living, mental health, recruitment and training

High Sheriff visit


21/10/2021 12:56pm


Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters took time to showcase their skills to the High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight during a visit to Ryde Fire Station.

James Attrill’s visit included a tour of the Learning and Development Centre at the Nicholson Road site, where on-duty firefighters from Newport were taking part in a training exercise, demonstrating the skills they use to safely rescue casualties from overturned vehicles.

But the afternoon was interrupted as along with Ryde firefighters, the Newport crew were soon called out to respond to an incident in Sandown.

Isle of Wight Group Manager, Jeff Walls, said:

“It was a great honour to be visited by the High Sheriff and explain what our teams do to ensure our communities are kept safe.

“We were able to demonstrate the skills our crews use every day, as well as highlighting the wellbeing, training, protection and prevention elements of our Service too.

“The call-out gave the High Sheriff an insight into how the lives and priorities of our operational personnel, both wholetime and on-call firefighters, are changed in an instant to respond to incidents.”

James, who was joined by his wife Nicky on the visit, also found out about other work HIWFRS is involved in and the various roles the Service offers.

And the High Sheriff has agreed to support HIWFRS’ work in developing links and improving the Service’s engagement with the Island farming network.

One of the High Sheriff’s focuses this year is mental health, so Jeff was able to talk James through the Service’s range of wellbeing support tools in place, including the Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) assessment process, offered to those who have been exposed to significantly traumatic incidents.

The High Sheriff said:

“I was truly impressed with the work the Service undertakes, and the wide scope of activities it is involved in.

“It was great to meet the team at Ryde Fire Station and hear about the Service’s use of digital technology, mental health provisions in place, recruitment of on-call firefighters and the combination with Hampshire.

“Thank you again for a fascinating and informative visit. The Island should be very thankful to have your team here.”

The service is currently planning to open another firefighter recruitment window on 18 January 2022. Sign up for our career alerts mailing list to find out about our recruitment open days – bit.ly/3yHkD9x.

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