On Monday 20th March 2Lt Spicer and PI Brooks accompanied 15 cadets to Pocklington Fire Station as part of their Community Engagement Syllabus.
The evening followed an initial visit from Crew Manager Steve Baxter who visited detachment the week prior to introduce himself and talk to the cadets about the role of Humberside Fire and Rescue Service in the local community, how they work alongside neighbouring Fire and Rescue crews, other emergency services and how their role has changed over the last few years – encompassing the ‘rescue’ element of their work as well as Fire safety.
So, the cadets were primed and ready for their visit which started with Cadet Ripley volunteering to try on the full protective equipment and mask and appreciating just how hot, heavy and cumbersome the PPE could be. Following a classroom question and answer session, the cadets were then given a tour of the fire station by Steve and his crew and introduced to the two fire engines and their full equipment. Learning the purpose of each piece of kit and the importance of looking after kit properly was something the cadets could relate to and there were plenty of questions and stories of personal experiences shared in the group.
The real fun came when each cadet had the chance to wear their own fire helmets and aim the hoses on the fire training tower, culminating in a timed competition to see which pair could unwind the hose, operate it to clear 3 cones from barrels and rewind the hose. They all appreciated that there was more skill involved than they originally appreciated and just how physically fit the fire crew needed to be!
The evening was great fun but the crew took their educational role very seriously – sharing fire safety information and tips and how to stay safe around waterways. The majority of their callouts are not for fire incidents, however, but are for road traffic emergencies and the crew were keen to stress the importance of staying safe on the roads, especially as some of our more senior cadets will be learning to drive in the very near future. Again, lots of questions followed from the group.
Their commitment to their community was obvious and it was an invaluable opportunity to highlight to the cadets the similarities between our own values and standards and that of the Fire and Rescue Services: especially courage, discipline and selfless commitment alongside professional behaviour and a duty of care. Military knowledge and values and standards may not be the cadets’ favourite syllabus subject or lesson and Community Engagement for many may just feel like ‘ticking a box’ on the way to higher star levels but when introduced to the individuals who take great risks to serve our community and real life scenarios less than 5 mins from detachment, the similarities between our organisations and the importance of those values and standards suddenly becomes evident.
We were very proud of our cadets who engaged with the team and thanked them for their time at the end of the evening. Thank you to Steve and his crew for giving up their training evening to welcome us and for their enthusiasm for maintaining links with the detachment and suggestions for future training opportunities with Pocklington Fire Station.