London Fire Brigade

First Community Fire Cadets Pass Out

23 July 2010

The first 20 youngsters to complete London Fire Brigade’s Community Fire Cadet Course have attended a special Passing Out Parade.

The programme was launched in Tower Hamlets and Hackney in February 2009 and to mark the end of the course the Cadets received certificates from London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson at a special ceremony at the Brigade’s HQ on Friday (23 July).

The 20 cadets – 11 from Tower Hamlets and nine from Hackney -  attended  Shadwell and Hackney fire stations one evening a week for 18 months. 

The course is a comprehensive education and development scheme aimed at 14-18 year olds which aims to boost their confidence, increase fire safety awareness and enhance their citizenship skills.

As well as learning firefighting skills alongside frontline firefighters, cadets learn how to handle money, job application techniques and healthy living. Attributes, such as teamwork, communications skills and discipline are encouraged on the course – all of which cadets can use when they enter employment

Cadets are encouraged to interact with their community and become fire safety ambassadors, teaching people the consequences of behaviour like arson or making hoax 999 calls. At the end of the course they have the potential to achieve a nationally recognised qualification; the ‘Edexcel Level 2 BTEC in Fire and Rescue Services in the Community’.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “The fire safety awareness and  life skills that the 20 young people completing the Community Fire Cadet course have learned over the last 18 months will not only stand them in good stead as they move on in their lives it will also have a positive effect the communities that the Brigade serves. In addition the BTEC qualification provides Cadets with  a real educational outcome alongside the practical skills they pick up.”

Chairman of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority’s Community safety Committee Cllr Susan Hall added:  “The Community Fire Cadet Course has made a positive difference to all these young people and they should be very proud of their achievements. Through their performances on the course they have demonstrated the motivation and sense of social responsibility that will hopefully make a wide range of opportunities available to them in the future.”

Notes to editors:

• The Community Fire Cadets programme uses referral agencies to contact young people who would benefit most from the programme. It is run by front line firefighters and non-operational staff from the Brigade, with an option to invite external experts to cover specific activities or topics. The course lasts for 65 weeks and follows school terms and the academic year.

• The syllabus is divided into a range of subject areas and has the additional benefit of being aligned to a nationally recognised qualification; the ‘Edexcel Level 2 BTEC in Fire and Rescue Services in the Community’.

• The Brigade’s Cadet course is also part of the YOU (Youth Organisations Uniform)  London Board  - a new youth organisations partnership for the capital. YOU London is a unique partnership of the oldest, largest and most experienced youth organisations in Greater London which will help to maximize the impact and opportunities for young people and volunteers.

• Community Fire Cadets extends the Brigade’s award winning youth engagement programme which also includes ‘LIFE’, an intensive week long course for diverting young people away from anti-social behaviour.