12 October, 2016

Young people getting a taste of life as a firefighter

Children and young people from North Yorkshire are getting a taste of life as firefighters under a project to help them build confidence and learn new skills.

Thanks to a £20,000 from Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is running six week-long courses across the area, involving children and young people aged between 13 and 17.

The purpose of the course is to teach discipline and teamwork as well as a host of new life skills that will help the youngsters make better choices as they grow up.

“This is a fantastic course which has the potential to really turns young lives around, helping those involved see a bright future for themselves,” said Julia.

“From day one, they learn discipline, the consequences of their actions and techniques such as problem solving. It’s a mixture of hard work and great fun and the results can be incredibly positive. After this course, many of these young people will go back to school with a fresh way of thinking and a new pride in themselves.”

The Local Intervention Fire Education project has been run by the Fire and Rescue Service for a number of years, with fire officers each spending the week mentoring two of the course members.

During the course, the children and young people learn to listen and obey commands, operate breathing apparatus, use ladders and perform basic hose drills. On the final day, there is a display and passing out parade in front of their families.

“The mentoring element is an important part of the course,” said Watch Manager Ian Hankin.

“It gives each of the trainers time to get to know the youngsters really well and it is amazing the changes we see in them.

“We hear from parents and family that kids who may usually struggle to get out of bed in the morning are up and ready to attend the course at 7am. We want to harness their enthusiasm and teach them skills that are going to help them when they go back to school or college.”

The Commissioner is investing £381,994 in community safety services this year, which this project is funded by.

The fund is available to any local community group or organisation with a project that benefits North Yorkshire communities directly and is supported by a Community Safety Partnership.

Find out more about the Community safety services fund

LIFE-web

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Pictured with Julia, centre, from left to right are: (top row)  Firefighter Mick Dobson, Jack Potter, of Scarborough Sixth Form, William Page, of Lady Lumley’s School in Pickering, Harry Summers and  Daniel Ray, both of Malton School, and Firefighter Clive Rodgers, with (bottom row) Jaden Jefferson, of Malton School, Ryan North of Lady Lumley’s and Emre Solak and Nathan Worth, both of Malton School.