20 October 2015

Fire cadets

Ladder climbing, using a hose and battling through smoke-filled buildings are just some of the aspects of firefighting that often capture the imagination of young people.

And more teenagers will now be given a chance to experience a taste of life in the fire service, as the latest Fire Cadet unit has just been launched in Northamptonshire.

New members

The new unit, which runs on Monday nights (7pm-9pm) at Rushden Fire Station, currently has space for new members and would like to hear from young people who are keen to join.

Youth diversion officer Andy Evans said: “It is aimed at supporting young people and providing an alternative to the traditional activities for young people.

“It is similar to the Fire Service training that our firefighters undertake every day. The young people learn new skills to assist in personal development, which includes self-esteem, self-confidence, team work , and important life skills like first aid. All of these assets are learnt through fire activities linked to the use of firefighting and rescue equipment.

“We are also hoping the Cadets will get more involved in other community activities, such as Remembrance Sunday.”

The start-up costs for this unit have been funded nationally via the Chief Fire Officers Association’s grant from the Youth United Foundation’s Uniformed Youth Social Action Fund.

Fire drills

Fire Cadet units are open to youngsters aged between 13 and 16. Activities include taking part in ladder drills, hose drills and working with deactivated breathing apparatus. Once Cadets reach the age of 16, there is also the opportunity for them to a junior instructor (at age 16) or an adult volunteer instructor (at age 18).

Mr Evans said: “It has lots of benefits for young people. They build up their confidence, their communications skills, an understanding of discipline and it teaches them new life skills.”

Northamptonshire already has a successful Fire Cadet unit in Northampton, which has been running for three years. A new Emergency Service Cadet Unit, encompassing both Fire and Police Cadet programmes, is also due to launch shortly at Brackley Fire Station.

Anyone interested in finding out more about joining the Fire Cadets can email Firecadets@northantsfire.org.uk.