Hampshire fire stations have rolled up their shutter doors to welcome a new batch of Fire Cadet recruits.
Two new fire cadet units have been launched in Hampshire to give young people the opportunity to gain essential social, life, work and wellbeing skills.
Eastleigh Headquarters and Gosport Fire Station have opened their doors to a new batch of recruits aged 13-17 years old, joining Ringwood Fire Station in hosting the nationally recognised programme.
Following the success of the New Forest-based unit, the HFRS Children and Young People (CYP) team, supported by the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority, secured funding to deliver the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) programme.
Volunteer cadet instructors deliver the programme which offers young people the chance to gain a BTEC Level 2 qualification and develop confidence and personal skills.
The programme runs one evening a week during term-time. Having just launched prior to the summer school break, cadets and volunteers were given the time to bond before their programme fully began in September.
This is just the start for the CYP team who aim to open seven units across the county by 2021, offering more than 100 young people the opportunity to complete the programme.
Director of Operations, Stew Adamson said: “I’m delighted that we’ve opened two brand new cadet units in Eastleigh and Gosport.
“Our volunteer instructors will deliver the national cadet programme, which gives 13-17 year olds the opportunity to develop their leadership, communication, firefighting and first aid skills.
“Supported by stations and the success of our Ringwood unit, the cadets will be able to use social action to make a real difference in their community.”
Cadet Watch Manager, Emily joined cadets when she realised her brother was having all the fun!
Emily said: “At cadets we do lots of ladder, hose and breathing apparatus drills. Some of the equipment is just for us because it needs to be slightly smaller, but where possible we use the real station equipment.
“It’s really exciting to be using Ringwood’s fire engine in training then hear the bells go down and the retained crew dash in to take the fire engine out we were just practicing with. You don’t get more of a realistic experience than that.”
If you’d like more information about Fire Cadets please visit the website or email Fire.Cadets@hantsfire.gov.uk.
More information about the opening of further units will be available in the autumn.
Follow @HFRSFireCadets on Twitter or search Hampshire Fire Cadets on Facebook to keep up to date with the cadets and to find out when more information about the opening of further units is available.