Council Modern Apprentice, Ashleigh Connor, has just passed her “blue light” training to allow her to drive Campbeltown’s fire engines in emergency situations.
Twenty-year-old Ashleigh has been a retained firefighter for two years. As the crew was short of drivers, and Ashleigh as an apprentice HGV mechanic already held a Class 2 Licence, she decided to go for it.
Training involved a week-long intensive course in Glasgow, comprising classroom and on-road work. Studies covered hazard awareness, motorway driving and understanding different types of roads.
At the end of the week Ashleigh’s new skills were assessed as she negotiated unfamiliar terrain while describing the various potential hazards along the way.
Ashleigh said: “I’m happy to have passed, but glad it’s over with. I’m not used to driving in the city so I had to be quite switched on all the time.
“I’ve been with the service for seven years now, having done five years as a cadet first. It’s something I enjoy and lets me help the community.”
As well as being a volunteer firefighter, Ashleigh is also a year and a half into her Modern Apprenticeship, which she loves because “every day is different”.
Her interest in mechanics came after she took an engineering course at school and then enjoyed fixing her car when it developed faults. When the apprenticeship came up, it seems a logical step was to apply.
Councillor Roddy McCuish, Policy Lead for Roads and Amenity Services, said: “Well done Ashleigh. Not only are you doing brilliantly in your training, you’re also making a valuable contribution to you community through your volunteering.
“I’m sure it was a major achievement to pass your ‘blue light’ assessment first time and please accept my congratulations on behalf of the council.”