London Fire Brigade

Lessons in LIFE for Tottenham girls

10 November 2015

For the first time in over five years we are holding a special firefighting course specifically aimed at teenage girls.

Boost confidence

Fourteen girls from Tottenham aged between 14 and 17 will take part in the course, which is called Local Intervention Fire Education, or LIFE. The programme aims to boost young people’s confidence and build aspirations, through firefighting training techniques which teach effective communication, teamwork and leadership.

Normally aimed at both boys and girls aged between 13 and 17, LIFE has been operating since 2002 and has reached over 12,000 young people. Some of those who have taken part  in the past have been involved in anti-social behaviour or have had problems at school, including  poor attendance and being excluded.

Girls Aloud

The all-girls course is taking place in Tottenham in Haringey, which is one of the most deprived boroughs in the country, suffering from higher than average rates of youth unemployment, crime, teen pregnancies and lack of opportunities and resources. The area is also linked to several high-profile gangs.

Craig Carter, the Brigade’s borough commander for Haringey, said:

“This is a unique opportunity for a group of young women to learn some core life skills from a group of experienced firefighters.

“Sadly some young girls can be at risk of involvement in anti-social behaviour which is an issue we hope to tackle through this course.

The aim is for them to leave the course as responsible, confident and enthusiastic young people, with some of the skills needed to make positive life choices.

“As well as encouraging a feeling of self worth among the girls who have taken part, this course also helps reinforce our message that firefighting is a job for everyone - whatever your gender.”

LIFE lessons

During the week-long course and under the supervision of real firefighters the youngsters will carry out a number activities, including the use of ladders, breathing apparatus, rescue techniques, hose line practice and problem solving tasks – all of which are designed to improve motivation, confidence and team building skills.

They will also learn about the consequences of behaviour like arson or making hoax 999 calls. The challenging week will culminate in a passing out parade in front of friends, family and carers on Friday 13th November.

For further information about the entry requirements for LIFE, please contact Life4@london-fire.gov.uk.