Saint Aidan's News

My Year as a Fire Cadet

After a year of learning how to be a Fire Cadet, the Cadet Class of 2017 had to understand interviews for Crew Managers for 2017-18. The panel were so impressed with one cadet’s performance that the decision to make a Watch Manager was made. Leti Ellis-Gray was awarded “pips” at the recent Passing Out Parade, to signify her new role. Here she writes about her experiences as a Fire Cadet at Preesell Fire Station.

From the first session on the 7th of September last year, fire cadets has been all about building confidence, teamwork and learning about how important the fire service is.

Cadets were split into four watches; red, green, blue and white, just as how normal fire stations operate their shift patterns. At the start of each of the two hour sessions, we parade on the yard in our watches for a full uniform inspection and a briefing of what we would be doing in the evening.

For one of the hours, two watches would go outside to learn about and practice running out (and making up!) hoses, operating the pump and using the hose reels. We also learned about the different equipment on the fire engine.

The second hour was spent inside the fire station, learning about fire safety, and the fire service. This also involved work for a Level 2 BTEC award in the Fire and Rescue Service in the Community.

We would also have different sessions like learning life skills such as ironing, sewing, boot polishing, ironing and how to fix plugs.

Another different session was when the Ambulance Service came in and taught us how to deliver CPR, and how to assist people who were choking, bleeding or having a heart attack. We also got to look around an ambulance.

We have also climbed ladders and faced our fears to go up the tower, and at Christmas we visited a call centre to listen in on 999 calls.

After we had completed the Induction Module we were awarded badges and certificates and parents watched us perform our drill.

One of the main aspects of Fire Cadets was being involved with the local community. A new co-operative opened shortly after Fire Cadets started and we helped hand out coupons and vouchers in the store.

On Bonfire Night we collected money in charity buckets at the Fleetwood Firework Display. We have also had Dementia Training to become Dementia Buddies. Recently we went round several care homes around Preesall to chat, and give cakes to the elderly people there.One of the highlights of Cadets was the day at the Chorley training centre where we were able to cut open cars, crawl through the rat-run and put out fires with extinguishers.

At the end of the year we were given the option to stay on as Crew Managers next year, to lead the new year 9 recruits. Five Cadets were selected from the interview process: Andrew Barr, Jennifer Dawson, Oliver Baxter, Jacob Greaves and Leti Ellis-Gray. This means that I will be guiding the new Cadets through their training next year, and also the other crew managers.

Being a part of Preesall Fire Cadets has significantly helped increase our confidence, maturity, teamwork skills and helped us make new lasting friendships. I believe that all the Cadets, myself included, have been shaped by attending the scheme that helps young people to gain vital skills. It has also given the Cadets an insight into the emergency services and their career paths.

For our final session and party, we will be going bowling and having a barbecue to celebrate the past year’s success.