Eight young carers have successfully completed Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s (RBFRS’) FireBreak course, which was commissioned by Berkshire Young Carers. The four-day course ran between Monday, 23 July, and Thursday, 26 July at Mortimer Fire Station. The course culminated in the young people showing their skills in front of proud friends, family members and guardians.
FireBreak is a programme designed for young people between the ages of 12 and 16, specifically designed for those who may be struggling with low self-esteem or lack of confidence. The programme provides them with a safe learning environment to develop self-motivation, discipline and confidence and communication skills.
Throughout the course, the participants took part in a range of physical sessions, which included; how to use the breathing apparatus and first aid training, as well as learning how to use the fire engine equipment. These activities were supported by the classroom sessions which focused on fire safety, building self-esteem and moral reasoning. They were also given the opportunity to reflect on their experiences with the support of a mentor at the end of each day.
On the final day, the young carers showcased their new skills. Live demonstrations were performed in front of friends, family and representatives from Berkshire Young Carers. Some of the highlights included a demonstration where they responded to a fire in a tower, and speeches telling their friends and family what they’d learned during the course. All the participants were awarded a certificate by the Chief Fire Officer, Trevor Ferguson, in recognition of their achievements.
Some of the young carers who completed the course said:
“I enjoyed everything about this course. My favourite thing was the delivery hose and all the relays because I’m really competitive. Everyone was really nice and after this course I actually really want to be a firefighter when I grow up because I absolutely loved it.”
“This week I enjoyed the BA [breathing apparatus] set. What I am proud of is getting through the BA course and I am also proud of this course because it will help with my future career.”
FireBreak Instructor, Felicity Screen, said: “It’s been really great to see the group grow in confidence throughout the four days and we are all so proud of their accomplishments. We tailor the sessions to the individual needs of the cohort so we can ensure they get the most out of the course. We’re also very grateful to Berkshire Young Carers for supporting this course.”