A new batch of Cotswold firefighters will join the team after graduating last week.

On Thursday, February 17, the Fire Service College in Moreton hosted a graduation ceremony for its RAF trainee firefighters.

The graduates had their skills tested throughout the course before the passing out ceremony.

MP for the Cotswolds, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown was in attendance to welcome the new recruits.

He said: “It was clear from the pride on the faces of the family and friends who attended the ceremony, having travelled far and wide from across the UK, what a huge achievement this was for the RAF trainee firefighters.

“I spoke with many family members after the ceremony and heard from them what an important opportunity the RAF was providing these young people in achieving life-enhancing skills.”

He added: “Some students only got involved with the programme following suggestions from school careers advisors, taking on short-term work experiences which has now led to completing a high-skilled course which will help them with their future careers.”

At the graduation ceremony, each graduate was presented with a certificate and there was also a shield awarded to the top of the class.

A further award was handed to the student who showed the best physical fitness and ability to help others during training.

MP Clifton-Brown explained that establishing the college in Moreton proved a lengthy battle.

However, the move has brought with it huge investment and plenty of jobs.

He said: “This is a culmination of about five years of negotiations between the MOD, Capita, the Managing Director Dominik, and myself to get the entire Defence Fire and Rescue transferred from the old RAF facilities in Kent to the Fire College in Moreton-in- Marsh.

“his has brought significant investment including a long-term modernising project worth £525m, the securement of over 100 jobs at the college, and the £1 million dedicated Defence Fire and Rescue Building where the graduation ceremony was held.”