Teenagers get taste of fire service

A GROUNDBREAKING scheme to give teenagers a taste of life with the fire service came to an end today as they took part in an exercise rescuing fellow students from a simulated car smash.

A GROUNDBREAKING scheme to give teenagers a taste of life with the fire service came to an end today as they took part in an exercise rescuing fellow students from a simulated car smash.

The youngsters from Holywells High School spent six weeks learning about different aspects of life for firefighters.

All have posed special challenges for their teachers at school - but during the course the 12 pupils built up an appreciation of the work done by firefighters.

At least three have said they would now consider a career in the fire service.

Firefighter Darren Cooper, who organised the course, noticed a major change in the students over the last six weeks.

He said: “When we started, some of them were a bit full of themselves. But as they started learning about our work and the equipment we used that changed.

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“We have done a different topic every week - one session we learned about house fires, then about nuisance calls.

“We finished the course with an exercise based on a road traffic accident. Now they all know what we are trying to do and we are all pulling together.

“Some of the students have been really enthusiastic and I can see two or three making a career in the fire service.”

One of those now considering becoming a firefighter is 15-year-old Sinead Lambe of Beatty Road - who was singled out for special praise by Mr Cooper.

She knew little about the fire service when she started the course.

“But it's been really good, I liked it right from the start and it is certainly something I will think about when I leave school,” she said before rushing off to start dismantling the second car.

The pupils time with the fire service is part of a Prince's Trust course aimed at encouraging them to become better citizens.

Mal Akhlak co-ordinated the course from the school. He said: “It started with a visit to the fire station and I asked if the firefighters could help with something more structured because I felt the pupils could benefit from this.

“All of them have done very well and I think it has certainly changed their views about the fire service.

Some might go on to take things further - several are already talking about looking into career options here.”

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