WATCH: New West Sussex firefighters in action

New firefighters' strong work ethic and sheer determination were highlighted at their passing out parade.

Friday, 18th May 2018, 4:53 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:34 am
These 12 new wholetime community firefighters have joined West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

The 12 wholetime community firefighters have recently joined West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

They showcased their new skills to family and friends, their senior management team and county councillors during the celebration at Horley Fire Station yesterday.

Gavin Watts, chief fire officer, said: “We’ve been lucky enough to see this group’s strong work ethic and sheer determination throughout their training journey.

Demonstrating actions taking in a road traffic accident

“I wish each and every one of them a long and successful career within our fire and rescue service.”

The new recruits recently raised £820 for The Fire Fighters Charity and Together for Tyler, having completed a charity challenge in less than an hour, cutting up a whole car into small enough pieces to fit through a tractor tyre.

The group completed a 14-week intensive training course at Horley, including practical and theoretical work.

Seven of them were previously retained firefighters, Martyn Chate and Tim Batchelor from Littlehampton, Ric Copeland from East Preston, Shaun Beales from Horsham, Scott Cairncross from Burgess Hill, Tom Williams from Bognor Regis and Alex Wooding from Shoreham.

The new firefighters showcase their fire skills at the passing out parade

Martyn Chate was a retained crew manager, while running his own sandwich and pie company and Tim Batchelor worked as a housing officer.

Ric Copeland was recently promoted to crew manager, while Shaun Beales has been an operator at the service’s mobilising centre for ten years and a retained firefighter for 14 years.

Scott Cairncross previoulsy ran a double glazing company and Tom Williams worked as a ground operations assistant at Goodwood Aerodrome.

Chris Denton from Littlehampton has experience within the emergency services from his time with South Central Ambulance Service.

Jordan O’Hara from East Preston ran her own personal training and boot camp business before joining the fire service.

Gary Simmonds from Horsham first applied to join the fire service when he was 19 and 13 years on, has finally achieved his goal.

Kerrie Lewis from Bognor Regis has previously worked as a duty manager and lifeguard trainer in the leisure industry.

Satpal Nagi from Felpham used to work in the health and fitness industry, helping people with weight management and developing skills as a soft tissue and corrective exercise therapist.

Debbie Kennard, Wets Sussex County Council cabinet member for stronger, safer sommunities, said: “This is such a proud day for the new firefighters and for their families and friends. I am so delighted to welcome them to the fire service family.”

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is currently recruiting until May 30 for more new wholetime community firefighters and on-call crews. Visit for more information.