Serving and leaving soldiers line up with Firefighter David Lambert, a former Regiment Sergeant (left) and Divisional Officer Troy Furbert (second right). *Photo supplied
Serving and leaving soldiers line up with Firefighter David Lambert, a former Regiment Sergeant (left) and Divisional Officer Troy Furbert (second right). *Photo supplied

Soldiers will soon be given the opportunity to swap combat gear for firefighters’ kit in a unique partnership aimed at boosting both services.

The Bermuda Regiment and Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service (BFRS) today teamed up to promote firefighting as a career for soldiers finishing their time in the Regiment – with credit given for successful completion of service with the Island’s military unit.  

Regiment Commanding Officer Lt Col Michael Foster-Brown said the partnership would help make Regiment service even more attractive by providing career opportunities for former soldiers –while also giving the BFRS access to trained young men and women already accustomed to discipline, team spirit and community service.

Col Foster-Brown said: “The Regiment already works very closely with the emergency services as part of our mandate to support the civil authorities in a variety of roles.

“It is a recognition of the quality of our training and soldiers that the Fire & Rescue Service is prepared to give special consideration for recruitment for those who have passed through Warwick Camp.

“And it offers an added incentive for our soldiers to know that their service has earned them options for applying what they have learned after they have finished their time in the Regiment.” 

Members of the BFRS tonight (Wednesday) highlighted the careers available in the service at a special ceremony at Warwick Camp to honour soldiers being discharged.

The recruitment scheme was hatched after Col Foster-Brown and Chief Fire Officer Lloyd Burchall met to discuss forging closer links between the two services.

BFRS Lieutenant  Leonard Davis told soldiers completing their service: “There is already a large number of firefighters who are ex-soldiers – a lot of them came in with skill sets we value, like discipline and understanding an organised structure .

“I know, I was one of them.

“The core values of the Regiment such as selfless commitment, courage, discipline, Integrity, loyalty, and respect for others make them appealing as potential firefighters. “

CFO Burchall added “They’re physically fit, they have come through the ranks, they have team spirit and a strong sense of community service –  these are all attributes we need in our firefighters. Firefighting is not for everyone – but there will certainly be some in the Regiment who will be in tune with us and who can continue to make a valuable contribution to the community we all serve.”

He added: “If this recruitment scheme proves successful, other uniformed organisations like the Police Service and Customs can look at it as well.”

But CFO Burchall stressed: “This should not be a deterrent to anyone else from applying, but the Fire Service recognises that former Regiment soldiers possess certain qualities that are extremely useful in the role of a firefighter.”

The news came as the discharged soldiers became the first to get Service Testimonials to accompany their Discharge Certificates, giving an outline of their service careers and the skills they have gained which can help them stand out from the crowd when it comes to job applications.

The testimonials also provide details of the specifics of what the soldier will have achieved during their service, ranging from training to provide Bermuda with disaster relief, to providing internal security support in times of crisis, attending regular military training, as well as an annual two-week camp on-island or overseas, and being on-call in the event of embodiment to support the civil authority.

For those who have made the added commitment to become commanders, their testimonials will reflect this step.

Junior commanders will have completed the nine month Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (JNCO) Cadre, a rigorous promotion course on which historically less than half of those accepted pass.  By successfully completing the Cadre, a JNCO will have proved him or herself to be among the top 20 percent of their peer group. As commanders they held positions of responsibility and  trust, which required them to show leadership, management and initiative. JNCOs are responsible for the command, training and welfare of the soldiers in their care in barracks, on exercise and during embodiments. Their role requires good communication skills, the ability to prioritise, work under pressure and manage resources.

Col Foster-Brown said that –  in addition to  a fast track into the BFRS – the new testimonials and certificates would allow former soldiers to continue to benefit from their service even after they have left.

He added: “Apart from the varied roles the Regiment carries out, from ceremonial duties to disaster relief to assistance in time of civil disturbance, we pride ourselves on producing better citizens and better employees.

“A record of the challenges our soldiers overcome as a matter of course and the skills they have developed in areas like discipline, reliability and teamwork, will prove useful to them and potential employers.

“We in the Regiment firmly believe that the transferrable skills our soldiers have gained will always give them an edge in civilian life as well.

“The value of military training has been appreciated by many employers who support their employees through their career in the Regiment.

“In addition, many businesses generously offer discounts to soldiers recognising and supporting those who serve their community.”

And he asked Island firms:  If more businesses would like to join them by offering a discount on goods or services to our soldiers, or would like to be included as a soldier friendly employer like the BFRS and benefit from accessing former soldiers as potential employees, they should contact us.”

Firms interested in offering discounts to serving soldiers should contact Sgt Hayward at Regiment Headquarters at, who will arrange for them to be advertised throughout Warwick Camp and on the Regiment website.

A Regiment career offers adventure, fun, challenge, the opportunity to travel, acquire skills useful in civilian life, make new friends and competitive rates of pay, as well as a $500 bounty for new volunteers – all while serving our Island home. For more information, call 238-1045 or visit