A brave 13 new Irish Fire Service recruits underwent intense training using multiple buildings in a Laois town this week.
These eyeopening photographs supplied by Laois Fire Service show the tough training undergone by recruits in Rathdowney, with the whole town getting involved in supporting them.
They practiced quenching house and industrial fires, climbing tall ladders into the town's four storey former famine workhouse, rolling out hoses, and extricating people from car crashes.
Anthony Tynan is Assistant Chief Fire Officer with Laois County Fire & Rescue Service who hosted the training.
"We just concluded a 3 week Initial Firefighting Skills course in Rathdowney. This involved 13 learners from Laois, Donegal, Kerry, Waterford, Cavan, Monaghan, Tipperary & Wexford Fire Services, with trainers coming from Laois, Carlow and Wicklow Fire Services.
"COVID restrictions meant we had to use a range of premises, and received great support from Rathdowney / Errill GAA with the use of their clubhouse, Laois County Council and Donaghmore Workhouse & Agricultural Museum for the buildings and yards at Donaghmore, and Rathdowney Retail Hub for use of their car park. A huge effort was also put in by members of the Rathdowney fire crew and other stations in Laois to support the course.
"Learners successfully passed a range of practical assessments and written exams in subjects including, pumps, ladders, working at height, road traffic collision rescue, emergency traffic management and casualty care.
"The course will lead to a QQI Level 6 award, and was supported by the National Directorate for Fire & Emergency Management and the Local Authority Services National Training Group. The successful learners will now go on call with their respective services, moving on to many more courses as their careers develop," ACFO Tynan said.
He has reminded Laois people that they are seeking to recruit new retained firefighters, both male and female, across many of the county's eight stations.
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