28 Fire Cadets from across the County showed off their new skills at a Graduation Ceremony held at Whitley Wood Training Centre on 21 July 2021.
Crowthorne, Maidenhead, Newbury and Whitley Wood. It is an initiative that encourages young people between the ages of 12-16 to experience what being a firefighter involves. The course is an opportunity for young people to develop new life skills by taking part in fire and rescue service activities.
The course typically runs for 36 weeks during term time, although during this year, the young people learnt and participated virtually in line with COVID-19 measures. As the sessions transitioned to virtual delivery, the Fire Cadet Instructors adapted the course content to ensure that it was not compromised and provided cadets with the opportunity to learn about different firefighter drills, equipment that crews use and general fire safety, which culminated in their knowledge, skill and understanding being tested in quizzes.
During the Graduation Ceremony, each unit showcased the skills they had learnt, by performed their own graduation drills, which involved scenarios such as vehicle and domestic ‘fires’.
The Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, Councillor Colin Dudley, who attended the ceremony, said: “The Fire Cadets programme delivers on the Fire Authority’s commitment to contribute to a broader safety, health and wellbeing agenda, whilst also equipped young people with valuable interpersonal skills and increasing their self-confidence.
“During the last year, these fire cadets have faced many challenges by virtue of completing the course during the global pandemic, however their commitment, determination and perseverance in completing the course is a credit to them and the instructors that have led them. Well done to all the graduates.”
Feedback from this year’s cohort has been very positive, with our young people commenting that they really enjoyed the challenging nature of the programme despite the challenging circumstances, with every week encouraging different skills such as teamwork and fire safety skills.
The Fire Cadets programme is a brilliant opportunity for young people to learn skills such as self-reliance, leadership and decision-making, alongside learning about fire safety and firefighter activities.
Recruitment for the 2021 Fire Cadets programme is already underway. For more information about Fire Cadets, please visit the RBFRS website.