Young people take part in Fire Academy

The academy aims to  support a reduction of fire setting incidences and encourage the personal development of young people to become responsible citizens.

The academy aims to support a reduction of fire setting incidences and encourage the personal development of young people to become responsible citizens.

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A scheme that allows young people to work with firefighters and encourages them to become positive role models has seen yet more success in Angus.

The 12th Fire Academy, a joint project between Angus Council’s Community Learning and Development Team, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Police Scotland and Tayside Council on Alcohol, took place in Angus last week.

The event took place last week at Monikie Country Park

The event took place last week at Monikie Country Park

The group met at Monikie Country Park and took part in physical various activities designed to enable the team to get to know each other in an informal and fun way.

It aims to support a reduction of fire setting incidences and encourage the personal development of young people to become responsible citizens.

The Academy - which ran between September 20 and 23 - focused on personal safety and the consequences of vandalism.

SFRS’s Local Authority Liaison Officer, Watch Manager David McKenzie, was heavily involved in the organisation of Fire Academy.

iT focused on personal safety and the consequences of vandalism.

iT focused on personal safety and the consequences of vandalism.

He said: “The Academy offers young people an opportunity to engage in a very specific programme aimed at supporting them in changing their attitudes to fire safety and to ultimately, evoke personal change around fire setting behaviour.

“The programme was based around the skills needed to be a firefighter and included items such as hose running, dam building, and experiencing road traffic collision extrication techniques, moving in smoke and darkness and extinguishing fires.

“The young people were supported by firefighters from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service who mixed freely with the group and built relationships, which resulted in both students and firefighters gaining a mutual respect for each other.”

Watch Manager McKenzie added: “I would like to thank SFRS volunteers: firefighter Doug Marr, firefighter Matt Christie and Community Safety Advocate Judi Young. Thanks also to the Green Watch at Arbroath.”

One positive outcome of the event was the continued engagement with student from last year’s Fire Academy, who returned to mentor and support this year’s students and were valued members of the team.

The final passing out parade took place at Forfar Fire Station on Friday (23 September 2016) in front of proud parents and invited guests, including Group Manager for Angus Billy McLintock and Leader of Angus Council Iain Gaul.

Certificates were presented to the successful graduates by GM McLintock.