RUSHMOOR Fire Station's Green Watch are pleased to present their new recruit, fresh from training at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service's headquarters in Eastleigh.

Matthew Churcher, 28, of Gloucester Road, Aldershot, completed the gruelling 15-week training course last month.

He joined 16 other recruits for a presentation ceremony, held at the Eastleigh Training Centre, where he received a certificate from Deputy Chief Fire Officer Alan House.

Matthew commented on the training: "It (the course) started off with basic hose running, then you practise the same procedures again and again. It's to build you up and get you doing things without thinking about it.

"There's both mental and physical training. It was hard work."

But worth it for a man who wanted a job with a difference.

He said: "I wanted a job that was much more interesting than the normal nine to five, and help people in life."

And Matthew is looking forward to working and learning from his new colleagues, who have an average of 14 years' experience.

He said: "I was very fortunate to get a local station because sometimes you have to just go where you're needed.

"Settling in with the watch is very important to me and just becoming a valued member of the team, someone who they can rely on as much as I can rely on them."

Green Watch's commander, Sub Officer Neil Owen, said: "We've welcomed him to the watch.

"He's a local lad so he knows the area and it's nice to have someone local because the bond is much closer to the community we're helping."

Rushmoor Fire Station is holding a charity car wash on September 22 from 10.30am. The event is in aid of the National Fire Service's Benevolent Fund. Those taking advantage of the car washing service will be asked to make a donation.