The ten apprentices began work on Tuesday starting on an intensive two-year firefighter and business fire safety programme aimed at preparing them to be firefighters of the future.
The five male and five female apprentices, who are aged between 17 and 25, will spend the first 12 months of their apprenticeship based at fire headquarters in Belmont where they will be attached to every department learning how the organisation works.
In year two, they will each spend time at different fire stations and watches across the service area learning the role of a firefighter.
The service, who is one of the first in the country to launch a firefighter apprenticeship scheme, is offering the apprenticeship in partnership with New College Durham.
Chief Fire Officer Stuart Errington said: “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome our first ever group of firefighter apprentices to the service this week.
“It’s actually quite a special occasion for us as a service, as this is the first time we’ve recruited firefighters of the future in this way and I’m keen to see how they all develop in the organisation over the next two years.
“My hope is the service will benefit from the individual skills and abilities they will bring and that they as individuals will be well equipped to begin their career as a firefighter having spent time learning about all aspects of the service.
“I’m sure they will have a long and happy career here with us.”