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What does it take to become a firefighter? 16 youngsters from North Lincolnshire met at Scunthorpe Fire Station to find out.

On Wednesday 30 May, the Ongo Communities ‘Next Level’ project began a ten week programme which outlines the role of a modern day firefighter, allows attendees to wear fire service kit and handle ladders and hoses and ultimately prepare themselves physically and mentally for the formal recruitment process which begins later in the summer.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service had their new wrapped Scunthorpe engine in the drill yard at Laneham Street emblazoned with the recruitment motto of ‘Be Our Future’. The service is striving to encourage more women and those from a BAME background to apply for firefighter posts when the next process begins.

“Half the battle is to give all potential applicants a real sense of what a new career with us is all about” explained Station Manager Aiden Evans.

“There is a certain level of fitness required” continued Aiden, “but that is not everything you need nowadays to succeed as a firefighter. We are looking for team players, perhaps with softer skills who can work as effectively with school children as they can with vulnerable or elderly adults.”

Firefighter and fitness instructor Paul Wainwright took the session and will guide anyone through the course who is struggling with the physical tasks by developing their own training plan.

Ongo Communities identified clients of theirs to attend the course, with particular emphasis on creating a diverse group which would best represent the local community.

Ongo Communities Project Manager Paul Kitchen was delighted with how the first session went:

“We are really excited by this partnership. Those that attended were so keen to get stuck in and went away with an appreciation that they have the physical and mental aptitude to make the grade should they wish to apply. Even if they are not ultimately successful in the process, the benefits of the ten week course can be seen already. Improved teamworking skills and self-confidence will allow most of these youngsters to believe in themselves and strive for that next role or different challenge.”

Anyone interested in this or future courses, can email

Further information about this exciting new career can be found at