Local teenagers are invited to join a new youth programme that is starting at Crowborough fire station next month.
Fire Cadets has been running in other parts of the country for many years, but it is just beginning in East Sussex for the first time.
Following the start of the Fire Cadets in Eastbourne this month, the Crowborough group is next one to begin on 27th February. Other Fire Cadets will be set up in due course across the county, for example in Brighton and Hastings.
It is open for teenagers between 13 and 17. It will be held from 7 until 9pm on Thursday evenings in term time. It is all free and a uniform is provided.
Fire Cadet Leader Patricia Arnold said:
The Fire Cadets are not just for those young people who may be interested in working for the Fire & Rescue Service. There are many other positive and rewarding aspects to attending the Fire Cadets; for example it provides many transferable positive life skills, team building, empowers young people, promotes a culture of health, safety and welfare, maximises independence and responsibility and promotes engagement and attainment in learning opportunities.
Miss Arnold visited Beacon Academy last week to talk about the Fire Cadets.
She told students that two hour sessions are divided up between drills in the yard, team building activities to increase confidence and develop communication whilst learning about the Firefighter role.
Youngsters will gain insight into the Fire and Rescue Service, develop knowledge and understanding of community safety and well-being, fire safety in the home and the community, and firefighting techniques, including practical tasks such as running hoses, climbing ladders and drills.
Completion of the supplied workbook (not compulsory) goes towards a BTEC Level 2 Award which would help young people with their CV for job interviews, as well as being a benefit for any further education applications.
Fire Cadets will also participate in 999 event days, social action and charity events. There is also an opportunity to go on to be an officer cadet after 17.
There is only space for 20 young people at each Fire Cadet venue and there is already a waiting list for the group in Eastbourne.
For more information, and to join the Crowborough Fire Cadets, see the fire service’s website: www.esfrs.org/your-safety/fire-cadets.