Bushfield students pass out from Firebreak

The latest squad of students successfully completed a week-long Firebreak course with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

A group of 12 students, aged between 12 and 15, from Ormiston Bushfield Academy in Peterborough attended the course at Stanground Fire Station, which culminated in a pass-out parade in front of parents, teachers and fire officers.

Firebreak is an innovative course designed to inspire young people in the county, aiming to build confidence and team work skills using fire service drills and exercises. The Firebreak instructors, themselves operational staff at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS), utilise their skills to build the individuals self-esteem and the value of working together. Each member of the squad takes away AQA accredited units in basic life support and CPR for completing the course.

Area Commander Maurice Moore presented the squad with their certificates at the pass-out parade. He said: “Seeing what this group of young people has achieved after a week of intensive work is very impressive. They can all be very proud of what they have achieved and I hope they will look back on their experience with the Service fondly.”

In addition to drill yard activities like using ladders, breathing apparatus and hose reels, the squad also learnt about the consequences of behaviour, covering arson and road safety.

Home fire safety was also covered, which provided students with things to do in the event of a fire in their own homes, as well as the importance of having a working smoke alarm. Having a good night-time routine in order to prevent a fire; for example, shutting all doors at night to help contain a fire in the event of one breaking out was also covered.

Group Commander Kevin Napier, in charge of community fire safety at CFRS, added: “Engaging with young people is a key part of our work in the community. Shaping young minds to get them thinking about fire safety, which they can not only take home but keep with them for the rest of their lives, helps us make the community safer.

“The skills the squad will take away with them, like working together and helping each other to achieve, as well as the confidence they have built, will help them throughout their lives.”

Ormiston Bushfield Academy Assistant Principle Andrew Thorpe added: “I am extremely proud of the OBA Firebreak students. The skills they demonstrated in their finale parade demonstrated their ability to work and communicate as an effective team. They ended the week confident, self- assured and beaming with pride as did I…an outstanding achievement!”

Squad member Tia-Louise Welsh added: “I am really proud of what we have achieved this week and have enjoyed the course. I have learned a lot of new skills and the way the instructors taught us how to do the tasks quickly, but also take our time, has helped me.

“When I started the week I was worried about climbing down the ladder after going up. Once I did it for the first time I overcame the fear I had, so I feel very proud of that. I even wanted to do the ladder drill in the pass-out parade.”

Local printing service PPS Print (http://www.pps-print.com/) kindly supported Firebreak by providing the successful squads with printed photos.

The Firebreak course was funded by the Safer Peterborough Partnership