Teenagers invited to become young firefighters

TEENAGERS may enjoy listening to The Prodigy’s Firestarter, but for those more interested in being a fire stopper a new course will be just up their street.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is this month offering youngsters aged between 12 and 16 the chance to sign up to its Young Firefighters courses. They say that it offers young people a range of valuable practical and theoretical skills to make a positive impact on their career paths.

Although the course starts in September, some taster sessions will run over the coming weeks.

In the autumn, the sessions run on a weekly basis from 7pm to 9pm on Wednesdays in Whitley Wood, Reading and Crowthorne stations and on Thursdays in Maidenhead and Newbury stations.

The have-a-go sessions start tonight at Newbury Fire Station. Whitley Wood station holds its session on Wednesday, May 22 and Maidenhead opens its doors on Thursday, May 23.

Each evening runs from 7.30pm and 8.30pm and the youngsters should be accompanied by an adult.

The RBFRS say that places are limited and booking is essential.

Melanie Walker-O’Hare, a Young Firefighters instructor, said: “This course has historically had great success, with this being its 20th year running. During this time, more than 500 young people have taken part across Royal Berkshire.

“This year’s intake is aiming to continue this success.

“By learning and taking part in team building activities, the cadets develop their personal skills and qualities that can increase self-confidence and encourage positive thinking. It is hoped that these essential skills will benefit them as they move onto further education or their chosen career.”

The course will be conducted by competent instructors from RBFRS, who set cadets a range of practical and theoretical fire service activities, including hose drills, breathing apparatus procedures and fire safety awareness sessions.

To register, visit EventBrite.co.uk and search RBFRS.

For more information on the have a go sessions or about Young Firefighters in general, email: youngfirefighters@rbfrs.co.uk or visit: rbfrs.co.uk/youngfirefighters

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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