Sunderland firefighter achieves highest accolade on apprenticeship programme

A Sunderland firefighter has been awarded the highest possible accolade at the end of her Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service apprenticeship as the team deliver the course for the first time.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 5:50 pm

Annabel Evans, 27, from Sunderland, has gained distinction grades ‘across the board’ after completing the Operational Firefighters Apprenticeship as part of the first ever group of trainee firefighters to be entered onto the programme with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

The 27-year-old who is originally from Oxford, moved to the region in 2012 when she attended Newcastle University before starting as a TWFRS new recruit in October 2018.

Annabel joined White Watch at Farringdon Community Fire Station after completing her initial training programme and was part of the first unit to sign up for the firefighter apprenticeship programme delivered by TWFRS in partnership with New College Durham.

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Annabel Evans during her training programme.

She said: “It has been brilliant. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people to work with. They’ve been very helpful and supportive all the way through my firefighter training.

“I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter. In this occupation you really have to count on each other as everyone has each other’s backs!”

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Annabel who is married to Jason, a serving firefighter stationed at Marley Park Community Fire Station says her apprenticeship experience has been varied.

Annabel Evans alongside Assistant Chief Fire Officer Lynsey McVay.

She added: “I have to be honest and say that the live fire situations are my favourite bits. When I originally joined White Watch my first taste of putting out a fire wasn’t quite what I expected.

"As we were called out to a residential property, where a barbeque fire had got out of control. It just showed me how varied the job can be.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Lynsey McVay of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said the team are ‘proud’ of all their apprentices.

She said: “We are proud of everything our apprentices and new recruits work so hard to achieve. They are a credit to Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and the residents of whom they will be protecting and keeping safe during their time-spent serving in the region.”

Annabel in action on her training programme.

You can learn more about how to become a firefighter with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service at the ‘Work For Us’ section of their website.

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