The Welsh Assembly Government funded programme was launched at Malpas Fire Station over two years ago and remained there until last October when it expanded to Tonypandy and Merthyr. In the last two years, over 150 children have enjoyed the 12 week firefighting course which is designed to improve the pupils’ community spirit, raise achievement and increase educational engagement.
This January the course will expand so that pupils from
On their allocated days the groups of 14 and 15 year olds from each school/college attend the Fire Stations and get the unique opportunity to work with Firefighters in an environment of discipline and inclusion, so as to raise their own self esteem. The youngsters train as firefighters and learn about fire, road and water safety.
Station Manager Tony Burridge heads the programme. He said, “The programme is aimed at young people whose needs are not fully being met in the classroom environment. We have moved from Malpas and are delivering the programme within the heart of the schools’ community from local community fire stations.”
Over the 12 weeks, the course will include firefighting skills, community safety and first aid modules. At the end of the 12 weeks, if they have attended both the Fire Station and their schools regularly, the students earn the privilege of attending a two day outreach course in partnership with the Army Cadet Force Association in Cwrt – y – Gollen, Powys, which also focuses on team building and life skills activities and outdoor pursuits.
“It’s been such a successful scheme that we’re pleased to be able to roll it out to other areas and hopefully benefit more young people in our area. It provides a Fire and Rescue themed educational experience designed to complement and enhance the school curriculum. By using the fundamental Fire Service principals of communication, team work and discipline, it aims to raise achievement, improve self motivation, increase educational engagement and develop practical skills and life skills.”
“We’ve had excellent feedback from the courses so far with very positive comments from pupils, parents and teachers.”
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