Scottish Fire and Rescue Service completed a six week Fire Skills training course with ten pupils from Inverness High School. The course included talks on anti-social behaviour, first aid training and the chance for the whole team to go go-karting with the fire officers. 'FireSkills' is a fully flexible programme, consisting of a suite of sessions based on firefighter drills and activities, adapted to provide a unique learning experience for young people. This will develop the core skills of the young people, building teamwork and discipline whilst raising confidence and self-esteem, increasing problem solving skills and personal motivation, with the option of attaining elements of a vocational employability award.
What were the benefits and learning from the project?
The most positive aspect of the course was team working. The pupils really flourished once they were given their own particular jobs and really came together whilst helping each other.
Communication skills improved through listening to instructions and being put in situations where they had to rely on their senses and each other. Discipline was key as it was a fully working fire station and the pupils were using expensive equipment. The pupils showed a lot of respect to the fire service and remained disciplined at all times. Important life saving skills were taught which may prove to be invaluable.
Pupils were selected due to social, emotional, behavioural or attendance issues. Throughout the course only one pupil failed to complete the course but that was due to unforeseen circumstances. Overall school attendance for one pupil increased from 50 to 72%. There was one minor behaviour incident that was dealt with but behaviour throughout was exceptional. The pupil’s confidence continued to increase each week as their relationships with each other formed.
Feedback from Young Person
"We were all selected by the guidance team at school. The Child Services Worker spoke to us about this new exciting opportunity. She then spoke to our parents about what was involved.
We were all keen to take part for different reasons. We wanted to learn new skills and build new friendships. We were allowed time out of class which was another great reason to come! We weren’t too sure exactly what we were supposed to be doing but we knew we were getting a uniform and it involved physical work.
We learned how to run hoses, search buildings and build dams. We learned about the equipment and were shown around the fire engines. We witnessed how busy firefighters were and all the different roles a firefighter has in his daily work routine.
We were shown how to perform CPR and wear breathing appratus. We learned about road traffic collisions and anti-social behaviour."