Fire Academy in Angus continues its success after 13 years

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The multi-agency scheme encourages young people to become positive 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.

The multi-agency initiative delivered the 13th Fire Academy in Angus last week.

Fire Academy is a joint project between Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Angus Council’s Community Learning and Development Team, Police Scotland and Tayside Council on Alcohol.

The group met at Monikie Country Park and took part in raft building 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 is a residential event, ran between September 26-28 at Tarfside, Glen Esk and Arbroath and Forfar fire stations - focused on personal safety and the consequences of anti-social behaviour.

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

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 Steve Nicoll 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 students 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 Thursday September, 28 in front of proud parents and invited guests, including Group Manager for Angus Roy Dunsire.

Certificates were presented to the successful graduates by GM Dunsire.

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