A STUDENT is fanning the flames of success after becoming one of the very first firefighter apprentices.

Richmond School and Sixth Form College student Harry Allen is one of just five boys and five girls to be selected from 350 applicants to train with County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service.

The 17-year-old, of Brompton-on-Swale, begins his life of public service on May 2 after completing his exams.

He is looking forward to a career of dowsing flames, dealing with hazardous chemicals, rescuing the public from road traffic accidents and water-based emergencies as he becomes an integral part of the next generation of super-firefighters.

“The main thing is that I have a career that keeps me busy,” said Harry, whose uncle is a firefighter with North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“One of my friend’s house caught fire when a firework landed on it and my uncle attended the incident and stopped it spreading. I am really looking forward to starting my training.”

Assistant head teacher Leslie Richardson said: “We are all extremely proud of Harry for securing such a prestigious apprenticeship and for wanting to dedicate his life to serving others.”