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LIFE Course at Skipton

19th June 2012

Young people from Skipton recently completed a Local Intervention Fire Education (LIFE) course at Skipton Fire Station.

On 1st June, 11 young people from the local area took part in a passing out ceremony to mark the end of a five-day intensive training course which taught the young people, aged 11-17,  some of the skills needed to be a firefighter.

Station Manager of Skipton fire station, Lee Smith said: “It’s a great programme we run alongside other organisations to help to tackle the cause of fires, and it helps to give the students a huge sense of achievement and self-belief. Helping them to raise their self confidence through this initiative helps them overcome difficulties they may face in the future.”

The Passing Out Ceremony was attended by the friends and family of the students taking part in the course, staff from the Craven Prevention team, Craven Community Safety Partnership, along with the Mayor of Skipton, Cllr Wendy Clark.

The ceremony started with the students completing a drill exercise in front of the audience to show the various skills they had learnt during the week; which they completed very successfully.

The drill was followed by a presentation of certificates to the students by the instructors, after which two of the students had volunteered to say a few words about the course and the instructors – a first for the course.

The students said how grateful they were to North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and to all those involved in the LIFE course for giving them the opportunity to achieve something themselves and to learn to work as a team with people who they had never met before.

Over the five days, the students learnt a range of skills such as running the hose reels, putting up and climbing ladders, using breathing apparatus and basic first aid.

The LIFE course has been running for around seven years now with a large number of young people throughout the county having attended the course, which has had an impact on reducing arson, hoax calls and anti-social behaviour.

All of the instructors are fully operational firefighters who give up their own time to go and teach the children.

The course offers a rare opportunity for young people to learn about the dangers of fire whilst also gaining a great sense of achievement and self-belief.

Station Manager Lee Smith said: “Our job is to put out fires and protect the local community, but as part of that job we also look at ways in which we can prevent fires from starting in the first place. These young people can now go out into their communities as ambassadors of the fire service and send a very positive influential message to their peers.”

Mayor of Skipton, Cllr Wendy Clark had never attended the event before, she said: “The students did really well, you can see they have really enjoyed their time here.”

Most of the students stayed long after the ceremony had finished to talk with the instructors and to say a personal thanks; it proved difficult to get them to leave in the end!

For more information about the LIFE course at Skipton, contact Skipton fire station on 01756 790444.

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