Just back from a “rigorous six-week training course in Newcastle, England“, National Security Minister Michael Weeks welcomed 23 new Bermudian firefighters for airport operations.

Speaking at the Hamilton Fire Station yesterday, to honour the new recruits who passed out of their basic training, the Minister said it marked “a significant milestone“.

He also noted that the new recruits “underwent intensive training in essential firefighting techniques related to airports and aircraft“.

“This comprehensive program has equipped them with the skills and knowledge necessary to respond effectively to any incident that may occur at our airport.“ said Mr Weeks.

“Their dedication and commitment to their training are commendable, and we are proud to have them join the ranks of our esteemed Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service. Having local firefighters stationed at the airport plays a critical role in maintaining the safety and security of our Island.

“International requirements necessitated the presence of additional firefighters at the airport, and with the successful completion of this recruitment course, Bermuda is now fully compliant with Bermudians at the helm,“ he added.

“We can all take pride in knowing that our airport is prepared and well-equipped with our own highly trained professionals.“

He also expressed “heartfelt appreciation to the outgoing Canadian firefighters who have supported us during this transitional period“.

“Their willingness to step in during a time of need and share their expertise has been invaluable .

“They have fulfilled their duty with excellence and fostered strong bonds of friendship and collaboration with our local firefighters.

“We salute them for their service to Bermuda and embodying the spirit of international cooperation,“ he said.

And the Minister commended the 23 new firefighters “for choosing this noble career path within the BFRS“.

“You have heeded the call to protect and serve our community, and I commend you for your courage and selflessness,“ said the Minister.

“However, let me emphasise that being a firefighter is more than just a job; it is a solemn commitment that requires unwavering dedication, sacrifice, and a sense of duty.“

“It is a challenging profession that demands bravery in the face of danger and compassion for those in need. I have no doubt that every one of you is up to this task, and I trust that you will continue to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.

“But let us not forget the families and loved ones who have supported these new firefighters throughout their journeyI,“ he added.

“I offer my heartfelt appreciation to the parents, spouses, children, and friends who have stood by them.

“Your unwavering encouragement and understanding have been instrumental in their success.

“The path they have chosen is not easy, and your support will continue to be paramount as they navigate the challenges and responsibilities.

“To my fellow Bermudians who are here today and those who will read about this ceremony later, I want to convey a heartfelt message:

“A career in the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service is honourable and filled with countless opportunities. It is a profession that allows individuals to make a real difference in the lives of others, protect our community from harm’s way, and foster a safer Bermuda.

“I encourage those seeking a meaningful and rewarding career path to consider joining the BFRS.

“Our dedicated team of professionals stands ready to guide and mentor future generations of firefighters.

“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, filled with challenges, triumphs, and countless opportunities to make a positive impact.

“Together, let us recognise their dedication, express gratitude to our outgoing Canadian colleagues, and reaffirm our commitment to maintaining a world-class emergency response capability.

“Thank you, and may we continue to work hand in hand to safeguard the security and well-being of our island home.“