Scott Canham second from the left TWFRS 1000pxTyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) Firefighters Scott Canham, Craig Payne and Robert Nichols-Key proudly achieved a distinction grade as part of their journey to become a firefighter.

The Operational Firefighters Apprenticeship scheme, in partnership with TWFRS and NCD, celebrated its second cohort and a 100% first-time pass rate and a 63% distinction rate.

The apprentices are assessed to ensure they have gained the specialist knowledge and skills through a knowledge test, practical assessment with questioning and a professional discussion. The End Point Assessment (EPA) was independently assessed by Skills for Justice.

Scott, Geordie born and bred, is no stranger to Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service as he is following in the proud footsteps of his dad, Gary ‘Spam’ Canham – who was a firefighter for nearly three decades serving the majority of his career at Byker Community Fire Station.

Scott Canham TWFRS 1000pxScott said:

“Being a firefighter is one of the most rewarding jobs you could ever imagine. Every day is different. Every day poses a fresh challenge as no two incidents are ever the same, which is exciting and definitely keeps you on your toes.”

Scott joined TWFRS as a new recruit in September 2019, and started ‘on station’ with Blue Watch at Tynemouth Community Fire Station in early 2020.

Scott pursued a variety of jobs before becoming a firefighter, including a spell as a professional footballer.  He was signed as a schoolboy by Sheffield Wednesday, and his exciting footballing journey also took him to Spain - where he played for the current La Liga team, Cádiz.  

Scott continued:

“I always wanted to become a firefighter especially as I got older. I’ve done a few jobs prior to this, and the more I looked into it the more I realised that this is well suited to my character and personality.”

Scott explained how he approached the apprenticeship programme, he said:

“Parts of the apprenticeship scheme were challenging, as many of the new recruits will tell you. It’s very busy when you first come on station. There’s a lot to catch up on, and you need to get in sync with the other watch members as soon as possible.”

The apprenticeship scheme is demanding as it requires recruits to apply the skills and knowledge they learn in the classroom and on the training ground into practice.

Scott enthused:

“My colleagues and peers across the Service have been very supportive all of the way through the programme.  At the end of the course there’s a massive sense of achievement. If you really want to become a firefighter I would say go for it - follow your dream and apply. I can’t pretend that it’s not hard work to get in as you need to be both mentally and physically focused.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Lynsey McVay, said:

“We are delighted with the results of the latest Operational Firefighters Apprenticeship programme. These achievements show the excellent progression being made across the Service.

“It can only install continued confidence within the communities throughout Tyne and Wear that they are safe in the knowledge our firefighters have been trained to a very high standard.”

If you would like to learn about how to become a firefighter with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, please visit the ‘Work For Us’ section of their website