Open morning sees emergency services cadets showcase newly-acquired skills
PUBLISHED: 10:53 14 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:20 14 April 2019
Emergency services cadets were given the chance to showcase their skills at a special open morning.
Held at Lowestoft North fire station in front of family and friends, 20 youngsters were yesterday faced with different scenarios to demonstrate their newly-acquired expertise.
Having given a presentation about knife crime, the cadets - aged between 13 and 17 - moved into the drill yard to take part in a hose-running competition based loosely on the Navy’s field gun competition at the old Royal Tournament.
Finally they took part in a simulated rescue of two casualties from the smoke-filled first floor of the drill tower, requiring the cadets to escort casualties from the tower while others sprayed water from fire hoses.
Senior officers from the police and fire service, including Inspector Claire Simons, watched on as the cadets completed the drills with aplomb.
“Our expectations of the cadets are quite high and they do get thrown in at the deep end,” said Ms Simons. “The police scenarios are on par with junior police officers’ training and the fire drills are realistic.”
“They are challenged to do logical thinking and problem solving and we put them outside their comfort zone, but what I have experienced is their ability to talk to people and communicate at different levels.”
The joint police and fire service cadet scheme was launched in Lowestoft in 2016, aimed at supporting young people across Suffolk and enabling them to make positive life choices.
As cadets participated in the open day for a third year, cadet leader and Lowestoft firefighter Ian Carter emphasised the value of the initiative.
“This is a great way to set the cadets up for life,” said Mr Carter. “They learn responsibility, teamwork and working together - as demonstrated today.
“They also learn new life skills and today is an opportunity for them to share these with their families. Some cadets start painfully shy and it’s great to see their confidence grow, together with their ability to interact with other people.”
Cadet coordinator Kelly Cole added: “The cadets benefit hugely from the discipline and skills we give them to use in the wider world.
“The scheme isn’t a recruitment tool into the police or fire service, but rather an opportunity for youngsters to grow and gain support in their career choice.”
Visit the Suffolk police website to find out more about the cadets initiative.