London Fire Brigade

Girls get fired up for LIFE in Tower Hamlets

26 February 2010

In the run up to International Women’ s Day (9 March) 14  girls from Tower Hamlets have helped to reinforce London Fire Brigade’s message that firefighting is not just a job for the boys.

The East London youngsters have taken part in a special all female version of a successful London Fire Brigade scheme designed to boost the self esteem of young people by teaching them firefighting skills.

The Local Intervention Fire Education (LIFE) programme is aimed at young people between the ages of 13 and 17 and many of those who took part have offended, are at risk of social exclusion or may have been victims of crime.

During the week long course and under the supervision of real firefighters the youngsters carried out a number of fire brigade related activities, including the use of ladders, breathing apparatus, casualty rescue techniques, hose line practice and problem solving tasks – all of which are designed to improve motivation, confidence and team building skills. They also learned about the consequences of behaviour like arson or making hoax 999 calls. The challenging week culminated in a passing out parade in front of friends, family and carers on Friday (26 Feb)

London Fire Brigade Deputy Commissioner Rita Dexter  said: “The LIFE programme is London Fire Brigade’s flagship youth engagement scheme, putting thousands of youngsters on the right track. The scheme has a positive effect, not only on those taking part, but also on the Tower Hamlets community as a whole.

“This is the sixth all female LIFE course that the Brigade has run, and as well as encouraging a feeling of self worth among the girls who have taken part, this course helps reinforce our message that firefighting is a job for everyone - whatever your gender.”