A new pilot diversionary programme run by the fire service to inspire young people has concluded with 12 students from the Voyager Academy in Walton, Peterborough, passing out in a blaze of glory, to the delight of their parents, teachers and senior fire officers.
The Fire Break five-day programme was run by Essex and Cambridgeshire firefighters at Stanground Fire Station and aims to use fire service drills and culture to develop team working skills and increase self-esteem and confidence through the workshops and drill yard activities.
The course instructors are operational firefighters who have received special training to run the programme.
Cambridgeshire firefighters have been shadowing colleagues from Essex for the pilot course and from January, will be self-sufficient in running the programme.
Station Commander Dave Lynch, who is the Fire Break coordinator for Cambridgeshire, said: “This week has been a fantastic experience for everyone involved.
“The students from the Voyager Academy have really thrown themselves into the programme and hopefully have taken a lot away from it. They should be immensely proud of their achievements this week, demonstrated by the flawless drill they performed for the pass out parade.”
Heidi Latronico, Outdoor Education Teacher from the Voyager Academy, said: “We have been working with the fire service in a number of ways over the last few months and this initiative was something we were keen to be involved with as we saw the benefits it could offer our students.
“It’s been a brilliant week and seeing how our students have engaged with the programme and developed in just a week has been incredible.”