South Hams District Council has helped 12 students from Ivybridge Community College to take part in a week long fire and rescue course, in a joint project with Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service.
Funded by the councils’ Community Safety Partnership, which covers South Hams, West Devon and Teignbridge, the Phoenix course was held at Ivybridge Fire Station, and formed part of a youth intervention strategy. The course offered a unique opportunity for young people to develop key life skills, such as; building self-confidence, communication skills and team work, together with important fire and home safety awareness.
Cllr Mike Saltern, Ward Member for Ivybridge West, said: “This has been such a fantastic opportunity for young people to learn transferable life skills within a very exciting environment. What they have learned during this course will stay with them as they look towards future higher education and work prospects. South Hams District Council is committed to working with other agencies in partnership, to help provide opportunities for those within our community.”
Involving Ivybridge pupils from Years 9 and 10, the training included a series of challenges, spread over 5 days. Practical sessions involved, hose running, the use of breathing apparatus for search and rescue, learning about road traffic collisions and how to rescue a casualty safely and essential first aid, together with a range of thrilling team building games and exercises.
Claire Warne, Head of Year 9 at Ivybridge Community College, said: “It has been a pleasure to witness these students engaging in an adult environment and witnessing them thrive. The course has enabled the students to build on their personal communication skills and I know some have been truly inspired.”
Following the demanding days of training, the fifth day ended with a traditional Pass Out display and celebration ceremony in front of friends, family and teachers. Students each received a certificate of completion.
Area Manager Neil Blackburn, of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said: “Our Phoenix courses provides a unique opportunity for young people to work with the Fire and Rescue Service and take part in a variety of physical and mental challenges that improve their life opportunities. Phoenix is also designed to reduce fire risk and fire crime through education and helps the development of community awareness.
“The team of Phoenix instructors have enjoyed working with the pupils from Ivybridge Community College and were impressed by their commitment to the course.”