Apprentice duo First female recruits to Stansted Airport's fire and rescue service
Two young women are blazing a trail after becoming the first females to join the ranks of Stansted Airport’s fire and rescue service.
Hannah Inggs and Amber Popham are among the first intake of Stansted’s newly-created firefighter apprentice scheme. They joined in early January and have begun a 22-week training course before starting operational duties from June.
Their training includes eight weeks at the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, and 10 weeks on-the-job training at Stansted. The course concludes with two weeks at the International Fire Training Centre at Teesside Airport in Darlington before completing two weeks of assessments back at Stansted.
In addition to the specialist airport firefighter course, Hannah, Amber and fellow recruits Finn Edwards and Charlie Fry will be trained as community firefighters and learn how to handle incidents ranging from house fires and floods to road traffic collisions and chemical spillages.
Hannah, 25, from Chelmsford, said she had wanted to join the fire service since the age of 16, and the new scheme gave her the opportunity to embark on her chosen career.
“I'm really proud to have been selected as one of the apprentices at Stansted Airport,” she said.
“It was while working at Boots in the terminal building that I first became aware of the Airport Fire and Rescue Service and I've been wanting to join ever since.
“I've always pursued careers where I'm helping others and have also worked for Essex County Fire and Rescue in the water section, so am familiar with the fire service environment.”
Amber, 19, who lives in Rochford, said she was not at all daunted by entering a traditionally male-dominated profession.
“I have two brothers and also like team sports, including rugby and football," she said. "I enjoy physical challenges and am competitive by nature, which I feel will help me as I progress through my career.”
Alex Adams, head of the airport’s fire and rescue service, said the new apprenticeship scheme would provide a route into the service for young people from a variety of backgrounds who may not have considered the fire service as a career.
It was introduced following the launch of the Government’s Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship and builds on the extensive range of educational and development opportunities on offer at the airport, which includes the Aerozone, Employment and Skills Academy and the pioneering Stansted Airport College.
“The scheme offers young people the chance to begin their career on a structured and supported programme as an alternative to going to university and is in addition to our proud track record in recruiting apprentices at the airport, particularly within our engineering and customer service teams,” said Alex.
“I’m delighted to welcome our first ever apprentices into the Stansted Airport Fire and Rescue Service. We’re very proud to have them on board and look forward to watching them grow throughout their careers.”