Wendy among 14 new trainee firefighter control operators

Trainee Firefighter Control Operator from Ballymena, Wendy Shaw celebrates her graduation with Carmel McKinney, OBE, NIFRS Chairperson and Gary Thompson, Chief Fire & Rescue Officer.
Trainee Firefighter Control Operator from Ballymena, Wendy Shaw celebrates her graduation with Carmel McKinney, OBE, NIFRS Chairperson and Gary Thompson, Chief Fire & Rescue Officer.

A Ballymena woman is one of 14 new trainee Firefighter Control Operators for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is celebrating their successful graduation following the completion of an intensive 16 week Firefighter (Control) training course.

The achievements of Wendy Shaw from Ballymena and her fellow graduates were celebrated and acknowledged at a special ceremony and awards presentation.

The six men and eight women, will be based in NIFRS’s Regional Control Centre and are responsible for taking 999 calls and dispatching Fire Appliances and other resources needed to deal with fires and other emergency incidents. The highly trained call handlers also provide potentially life-saving fire safety advice and are skilled in call handling techniques to challenge those making hoax calls to NIFRS.

Gary Thompson, NIFRS, Chief Fire & Rescue Officer said: “The men and women graduating today were recruited following a rigorous selection process and represent the elite of the 474 applicants. In our Regional Control Centre based in Headquarters, Lisburn, these Trainees play a vital role in supporting NIFRS to protect the community from a range of emergency incidents. With NIFRS receiving on average 35,000 emergency 999 calls a year, the role of Firefighter Control Operator is a vital and challenging one within the organisation.”

He added that the Trainees will go on to complete a further three year development program.