Thirteen recruits join Fire Service
Bermuda’s newest firefighters celebrated their passing-out ceremony yesterday, including the first new female recruit in 20 years.
Dy-Ann Simmons said: “It feels great. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work.
“My being the only female made it tougher, but it made me stronger.
“I feel I have accomplished something, but there is still more to do, particularly to inspire other females to come out.”
She added the experience was a challenge, but it was worth it to fulfil a lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter.
Ms Simmons said: “It was a retirement career after being in personal training.
“I’m not technically retired, but I always wanted to do it, so I decided that I would try it out while there was the opening.
“It was a challenge keeping up with the guys. I struggled with it at first, but once I realised I had gained their respect, I was equal to them.”
She added: “My personal highlight was when my instructors made me pull a firetruck tyre off the wall.
“It was almost impossible. I thought I couldn’t do it, but I put my blood, sweat and tears into it and I got it.”
Ms Simmons said she hoped other women would follow in her footsteps and join the fire service.
She added: “If you have that heart, drive and mental strength, go for it.”
Ms Simmons was one of the 13 cadets who joined the ranks of the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service after more than six months of tough training.
All the cadets who were accepted into the programme succeeded.
The new firefighters are Jacinto Brown, Isaiah Caisey, Dillon Charles, Thomas Hart, Devon Lambert, Jordan Lamb, Dominique Nanette, Anthrun O’Brien, Dean Smith, Trevor Smith, Zahry Swan and Shaheed Umrani.
Mr Smith, the class president, said the group had supported each other throughout the course and became a family.
He said: “We made sure to always have each other’s backs.
“It has been a great journey. It has definitely been a point of time I will never forget in my life.”
Wayne Caines, Minister of National Security, praised the recruits for their hard work and dedication to Bermuda.
Mr Caines said he had spoken to each of the cadets in February when the programme began and asked them why they had signed up to serve.
He added: “Someone said they wanted to make a contribution to Bermuda. Someone said they wanted to challenge themselves.
“Another person said they had been doing a specific job and they wanted to have something with further meaning in their life.
“We went to each and every one of you, and on that first day you shared your dreams, your aspirations and the reason you wanted to become a firefighter.
“I am pleased to see that now all of you that started on February 1 are here together.”
He added: “I think this is a day as a country that we could be very proud of. You represent the best of who we are.”