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Bristol Flyers Women

AF&RS put Bristol Flyers through their paces ahead of recruitment campaign

Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) has teamed up with the Bristol Flyers women’s team for fitness tests as part of a recruitment campaign.

Fitness instructors from the Service joined the squad for an evening training session, showing just what it takes to pass the firefighter fitness test.

The session, consisting of 16 women ranging from 16 to 36 years old, included interval sets of running at different paces, to improve aerobic capacity and get ready for the Cooper test (1.5-mile run), and a barbell shoulder press, with the weights gradually increasing up to 35kg.

The move comes ahead of a new recruitment campaign which again focuses on the ‘Yes You Can’ message, which looks to welcome applicants from across Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

The application process will begin mid-November when potential new recruits will be invited to find out more about what it’s like to be a part of the AF&RS team, before undertaking practical tests with the Service’s training school in early 2019.

Manuel Illescas, Lead Station Fitness Advisor for AF&RS, said: “It was great to meet the team and see just how they got on with the tasks.

“They all did incredibly well and it was great to see the team spirit throughout the evening.

“The firefighter fitness test is tough but with work in the right areas, anyone can reach the level needed to be a firefighter as long as they put the work in.

“It was a pleasure meeting the team and I hope to see some of them soon.”

Established three seasons ago, Bristol Flyers women quickly became one of the leading female Basketball teams in Bristol and the South West. 

Currently playing at SGS College Arena, the team trains twice a week and plays on a weekly basis.

Becky Cantin, Centre for Bristol Flyers women, said: “It’s really important to have women representing all jobs in society; we are underrepresented right now.

“Being a firefighter is such an important job and it’s a job we are more than capable of doing.

“Go for it. If you feel you can’t do it because you’re a woman and because of societal stereotypes, ignore them and go for it.

“If you give it a try, it is going to pay you back because of what you will accomplish.”

Gareth Till, Head Coach of Bristol Flyers women, said: "It's an honour for us to be involved with the Fire service recruitment drive.

“Having coached women's basketball for many years, I know from first-hand experience what women are capable of achieving. 

“It takes real determination mentally and physically to become a Firefighter and if you're capable individual it shouldn't matter what sex you are."