FIRE chiefs have agreed to recruit apprentice firefighters in a bid to tackle Dorset Fire & Rescue Service’s (DFRS) ageing workforce timebomb.

Proposals to introduce operational firefighter apprenticeships, which will see five young people taken on in Dorset, were agreed by members of the county’s fire authority at its latest meeting.

Figures published earlier this year revealed that of the 798 people employed by DFRS, only 91 were under the age of 29.

Those at the top had described this situation as a “major concern”.

Numbers show that DFRS does not currently have any full-time firefighters who are aged under 25 Additionally, just one manager in the service is aged under 40.