Thursday, 20 December 2007

Pupils leave classroom behind to learn firefighting skills

A GROUP of West Somerset pupils have passed out as honorary firefighters after completing a Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service training scheme.
The youngsters, who attend 24/7@PeritonMead School, in Minehead, have been attending the brigade’s Firebreak scheme on one day a week during the past school term.
The course was run at Martock Fire Station, near Yeovil, and also attended by pupils from Buckler’s Mead School, Yeovil, who also passed out.
The trainees were inspected by Assistant Chief Fire Officer Neil Gibbins, and were presented with certificates in front of local dignitaries including the Mayor of Yeovil, Councillor Tony Lock, and family and friends.
The passing out - equivalent to a graduation day - allowed the youths to demonstrate some of the skills they had learned, such as how to use pumps, hoses, and ladders.
The Firebreak trainees also learned how to work together to help each other through the challenging course.
Firebreak is aimed at youngsters who ‘do not quite find everything they need in the classroom’.
Students are issued with uniforms and fire kit and, as with real firefighters, only the highest standards are acceptable.
Although set in a fire service environment, the course provides a varied range of activities designed to promote and improve confidence, teamwork, citizenship, and self-esteem.
The course is suited to young people who have been identified as having an aptitude for practical ‘hands-on’ educational activities and work.
Students have to be carefully selected because the training is physically and mentally demanding.
They follow a code of conduct based on the high standards of self-discipline expected within the fire service.
  • Our photograph shows some of the Firebreak trainees showing off their newly-acquired skills at their passing out. Photo submitted.

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