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Every year we get lots of people applying for our Cadet Firefighter Programme with Liverpool John Lennon Airport’s RFFS, and we have been talking to previous recruits to find out why they decided to apply for the role and how they have found life as a Cadet. After gaining his university degree in Sports Science, Dan from Liverpool, tells us why he decided to apply for 2017’s programme.

How did you find out about LJLA’s Cadet Firefighting Programme?

I had just graduated from university and I was working in retail whilst looking for a full-time job.  I saw a post on Twitter advertising LJLA’s Cadet Programme and, after looking into the role in more detail and knowing it would involve all different kinds of challenges, I decided to apply.

What was the fitness test like?

I knew there was a certain level of fitness required, but the actual physical assessment wasn’t as daunting as I expected it to be. As part of the fitness test you do have to do a hose run, so my advice to anyone who is thinking about applying is to make sure you are fit.

What would you say are the best bits about joining LJLA’s RFFS?

As a team, we take part in continual training by attending lectures, exercises and practical training session, which I really enjoy. I got to put all my training into practice on one of my first shifts when we received an emergency call about an incident.

What are the most important parts of Cadet Firefighting?

It is physically demanding so you need to take responsibility for developing your own fitness levels.

There’s also more to this job than extinguishing fires; we get called to medical incidents around the airport, constant training as well as safeguarding to help enforce fire safety standards. Our daily tasks involve undertaking routine inspection of all emergency equipment so that it is in a constant state of readiness, which includes cleaning and testing that it is fit for use.

Joining LJLA’s RFFS has given me the skills to work with a wide range of people across the Airport. It’s great working as part of a watch; you have to be a good team player as it's part and parcel of the job. It is just as important to take other people into consideration, as much as yourself.

You need to be prepared to work hard so, but it’s worth it.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying?

It is a rewarding job, and although the Cadet programme is for 12 months, it is definitely worth applying. I have been a Cadet for 11 months now and I can honestly say it has been the best year of my working life so far. I now know what I want out of my career and I can see a future in firefighting.