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Students celebrate FireBreak course success

Nine students are celebrating after successfully completing a FireBreak course at Newport Fire Station.

Fire Break Newport

Their achievements were recognised at a Pass Out parade where they performed the practical activities which they learnt during their week at the fire station, to an audience of family, friends and supporters of the initiative.

FireBreak courses run throughout the year, with the latest programme funded by the Armed Forces Covenant in collaboration with Uttlesford District Council and Essex County Fire & Rescue Service. The course is designed to help develop confidence, team work, self-esteem, and a sense of citizenship and community engagement.

The programme was held over five consecutive days for the four civilian children and five children of serving local armed forces members, split between Year 6 and in Year 7 students from different schools.

The students spent the week developing new life skills such as effective communication, leadership and first aid through fire service-based activities such as hose drills, casualty rescues, breathing apparatus search and rescue, ladder pitching, and much more.

The primary focus of the course was the integration of service person's children into the community, and to create a student support network for Year 6 children when they move to secondary school.

Every student completed the course and was awarded an AQA Award in Fire Fighting Skills in the Community. After showing what they had learned at the Pass Out parade, they were presented with a certificate and a portfolio of their report sheets by Jo Turton, Chief Fire Officer of Essex County Fire & Rescue Service. Other dignitaries at the event included Major Justin Spreadborough, 2nd in Command of 29 EOD & S Group Support Unit standing in for the Commanding Officer, with Captain Tony Dale from Carver Barracks, Donna Finch, the Community Development and Safeguarding Manager at the fire service, and Cllr Lesley Wells, Chairman of Uttlesford District Council.

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service Watch Manager Gary Dyer, who was the Lead Instructor on the course, said: "The success of this course shows how powerful partnership work can be and the results that can be achieved when organisations work together towards a common goal. The children demonstrated skills and attitudes far beyond their years.

"This is a partnership the fire service is looking forward to expanding so that more young people from the Uttlesford area can benefit from it."

Captain Dale said: "It was a privilege to attend the Pass Out parade, and to see a full audience witness what was an amazing event was very rewarding. It was obvious the children had enjoyed themselves and learnt many new skills.

"To have children from both civilian and military backgrounds come together from different schools to work collaboratively was inspiring, and something that would be great to see on a more regular basis."

Cllr Wells added: "Completing FireBreak is a big challenge but the effort these young people put into it was outstanding. I was so impressed to see the children show what they had learned over the week at the Pass Out parade - many of these skills should stay with them for life."

5 July 2018