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Fire recruits 'climbing mountains' for charity in Norwich city centre

Norfolk County Council, 26 April 2023 00:00

Climbing one mountain in Norwich city centre - let alone three - would seem beyond all possibilities but that's the challenge set for new firefighter recruits to Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS).

Sixteen apprentices will be shinning up a 13.5m ladder on May 5 to the equivalent 3,408m height of the Three Peaks Challenge in which climbers tackle the heights of Scafell Pike in England, Ben Nevis in Scotland and Snowdon in Wales.

This challenge however - in aid of the Firefighters Charity - will involve little travelling as the recruits are on a 13-week initial training programme in Norfolk with ladder climbing part of their induction.

Organised in two watches of eight they will take turns to ascend the ladder, pitched in the Castle Quarter, before stepping off three storeys up and returning down the stairs of the building before returning to the ladder in rotation with their comrades.

The recruits' initial training includes a range of skills including, for example, operating hoses, pumps and breathing apparatus, ladder climbing, performing rescues at road traffic accidents and water based incidents.

This ladder challenge, although not part of the recruits' training programme, is an important exercise in building teamwork and camaraderie, according to NFRS's Learning and Development Team Leader and Watch Manager Roy Tait.

He said: "Our recruits bring into the service many skills and talents and this ladder climb will be a test of their ability to work together and to support one another in what is a tough test of physical and mental endurance. Each recruit will be looking to climb this ladder between 25 and 30 times each over a three-hour period.

"All our services are involved in supporting the Firefighters Charity which does such excellent work in looking after and supporting firefighters and their families throughout the country.

"Holding this event will also enable us to showcase firefighting as a career opportunity as well as giving the public a chance to ask us questions about fire safety and for us to offer support and advice."

To support the recruits raise funds, buckets and bank card machines will be available on the day. The challenge will start at 9am and is expected to finish at approximately midday.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:45