Avon Fire & Rescue Service recognise college students with pass out ceremony

Avon Fire & Rescue Service celebrated students from Weston College with their own pass out ceremony on Wednesday (27/06).

In a joint project between the Children & Young People team in Risk Reduction, Weston College, Avon and Somerset Police, South Western Ambulance Service, and HM Coastguard, 10 students took part in a weekly enrichment course throughout the year.

To recognise their success, students lead a tri-service Road Traffic Collision incident demonstration before receiving certificates from Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens at a pass out ceremony.

The enrichment course, which ran alongside the Public Services course at Weston College, allowed for greater insight into what was needed to be part of the emergency services.

Sessions included a tri-service road traffic collision exercise, ladder climbs, pumping drills and fitness tests, police firearms, dog handlers and visits to headquarters and HART Filton.

There was also a joint exercise with HM Coastguard to help increase their understanding of the wider work of the emergency services.

This exercise has provided the students with the opportunity to witness AFRS’ mud rescue capabilities and how the service works with HM Coastguard to resolve these incidents.

The course was made available to those on the Public Service course to provide them with real-world experiences not readily available on the course, and also allowed operational crews to develop closer working links with the college.

Kurt Hunt, Children & Young Persons Crew Manager, said: “It has been great working with the students and giving them a real-world insight into what it takes to join the emergency services.

“The pass out ceremony is an opportunity for us to reward those who have gone above and beyond what was required by their course and pushed themselves to new heights – both of which are key traits needed to join the emergency services. They have worked extremely hard and we are proud to have been there to help.

“It has been fantastic to help the students develop over the year and we hope they will continue to pursue a career in the emergency services.”

Jess Baber, a 17-year-old student on the course who hopes to join the fire service, added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time that I spent at emergency academy this year. We have worked closely with the fire service, paramedics and police force to experience different tasks that the services undertake.

“My favourite aspect of the programme was when we went to the beach to use the hovercraft and I got stuck in the mud, and fire service and coast guards worked together to try and get us out.”

While not guaranteeing a student the opportunity to join emergency services, the course was specifically designed to give them the best chance possible when it came to their application.

Katherine Allmont, HR Assistant at Avon Fire & Rescue, said: It was fantastic to be able to work with the students who are considering a career in the emergency services.

“This session enabled us to provide information on the Fire Service and our range of job roles all of which contribute to really making a difference within the local community. I was able to explain the recruitment and selection information we have available on our website and to give further details on our selection process.

"The students were very enthusiastic and we hope they consider pursuing a career with the emergency services.”

Bobby Swift, Head of Faculty – Education, Health and Lifestyle – at Weston College, added: “We are very proud to be part of this successful partnership that helps create brighter futures for young people.

“Seeing the students develop during the course of this programme has been fantastic. Gaining hands-on experience such as this is invaluable and will help set these young people on a positive path to great future success in the uniformed public services.”