Shannon Airport has welcomed ten new firefighters to the fold after an intensive training programme.
The recruits were chosen after an exhaustive selection process saw applicants being whittled down from 500 to ten. The newly qualified firefighters graduated last Friday but began their training on June 24th.
They underwent an intensive 12-week training programme which has equipped them to begin work in the combined role of airport police and fire personnel. The recruits range in age from 22 to late 30s.
Said Andrew Murphy, Managing Director, Shannon Airport: “We are delighted to welcome our new recruits to the Shannon Airport family. Over 500 people applied for just ten positions, which is a testament to the calibre of the team we have assembled and brought through training.
“They come from all walks of life including a painter, a panel beater, strength and conditioning coach and a paramedic. Through the selection and training process they have proven themselves to be skilled at working well in challenging environments, which is essential. They are all very welcome to Shannon Group.”
Pat O’Brien, Chief Officer Fire and Rescue, Airport Police Fire Service, Shannon Airport said: “Although their training programme was intensive and at times gruelling, I have no doubt each of them have been hugely rewarded by the experience. Our programme has also benefitted hugely from significant investment in the very latest technology and training aids. Shannon Airport very recently became the first airport in Ireland to take delivery of two recently acquired state-of-the-art High Reach Extendable Turret (HRET) fire tenders.
“The safety of passengers and staff is always of paramount importance to the management team at Shannon Airport, and the new fire tenders have additional safety benefits for both airport fire service staff and passengers. Our facilities are so advanced we now have outside fire crews coming to train in Shannon, and we hope this is an area we can expand on in the future.”
Recruits to the Airport Police and Fire Service have undergone training in the chemistry of fire, manual handling, communications; including signals and words of command, hose running, hydraulics and Teamwork.
In terms of fire- fighting they have learned the different extinguishing agents water, foam for large aviation fuel fires, dry powder, and Co2. Recruits also do intensive ladder drills and breathing apparatus training enabling them to work at heights and in areas with toxic atmospheres.