Young apprentices put through their paces by Oxfordshire firefighters

Young apprentices have been behind-the-scenes at Oxford’s Rewley Road Fire Station; part of Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service’s involvement in this week’s National Apprenticeship Week (03-09 February).

The 18-21 year olds participated in brainstorming and practical demonstrations, including a vertigo inducing trip into the sky on the hydraulic platform. They learnt about fire prevention, protection and response from Station Commander Chris Barber and his team.

The students are currently training in a range of disciplines, including digital safeguarding, and children’s centre and business administration.

Apprentice Jorge Escobar, from Marston, said: “I have a new found respect for firefighters. Today, we’ve learnt about the equipment and clothing they use and what they have to do to fight fires; it’s amazing. Whenever I see the truck now, I’ll understand what is going on. The highlight was going on the hydraulic platform, 30 meters in to the air to see views of Oxford, a great day and experience!”

Chris Barber, Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Station Commander, said: “We’re always happy to welcome young people in to the fire service and explain the importance of how we respond to 999 calls, based on the information and communication we receive. It may open up new career opportunities for them in the future, and the service will benefit from a fresh perspective.

“We’re recruiting for on-call firefighters and volunteers to support their services, so it was a chance for the apprentices to learn about these roles and perhaps encourage friends and family, from diverse backgrounds, to consider joining the service.”

Oxfordshire County Council’s Rose Rolle-Rowan helped to organise the day. She explained: “We wanted to offer apprentices a development opportunity, to learn more about the work the council does. Hopefully the apprentices taking part had an interesting experience, learnt something and had some fun trying out the kit – giving them access to quite an exclusive experience is one of the benefits we offer to our apprentices to thank them for their hard work.”

For more information about career opportunities in Fire and Rescue, visit the website:


The apprentices visiting Rewley Road Fire Station were:

  • Bicester’s Abbie Adamberry – Business Admin Apprentice in HR/OD team (and involved in setting up the day)
  • Martson’s Jorge Escobar – Early Years Sufficiency and Access Service
  • Marston’s Kirran Hussain – Service Improvement (Communities)
  • Rose Hill’s Mohammed Hussain – Admin Apprentice at The Leys Children’s Centre
  • Abingdon’s Rachel Hughes – Social Media Apprentice in Digital Safeguarding