By Kalina Swirko: Twenty student firefighters have been showing off their skills at Stafford Fire Station.
The group, aged nine to 17, were celebrating a £14,000 donation to their training scheme by the Staffordshire County Councillors Local Community Fund.
The young firefighters demonstrated a range of skills acquired on their course, such as dealing with rope rescues, house fires and road traffic collisions.
Station manager Phil Smith told StaffsLive: “The students are led by firefighters who instruct them on the training and who gave them all the necessary skills.
“It is an ongoing programme operating throughout Staffordshire, and it’s quite wide spread now”.
Trevor Caston, one of the firefighters involved in the training scheme, said it gives young people opportunities for the future.
“We’ve got this youth club here at Stafford on Saturday morning,” he said. “We also do a youth club in Eccleshall on Wednesday night.
“They love it, it’s a great thing. They come here in the morning and we drill them, get them doing the things we do as firemen.
“We teach them about anti-social behaviour, and it works really well. It gives them a little bit of a base for when they actually go out into the world and try and find a job, because we try to teach them some kind of communication skills, which they are going to need for interviews, so really it’s a well thought-out club.”
Click below to hear Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford, Stafford Councillor John Francis and the Mayor of Stafford Stan Highfield telling StaffsLive why they are supporting the scheme:
Click below to see images from the event: