Fire skills students in pass out parade

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PASSOUT parades marked the end of weeks of fire fighting training for students from Dacorum schools.

Year 9 pupils from Astley Cooper School in Hemel Hempstead had their ceremony on Friday at the fire station in Queensway.

The course developed their personal and social skills through teaching them how to climb ladders, use fire hoses, cut people out of cars and search for people in burning buildings.

Course leader firefighter Steve Bradford said: “They all did really well and put in lots of effort.

“We saw a massive improvement in them all from when they first arrived and by the end of the week they were working together as a team effectively.”

And 15 students of Ashlyns School in Chesham Road, Berkhamsted, took part in 16 sessions at the station as part of their Duke of Edinburgh award.

The pupils from Years 10 and 11 learned how to use breathing apparatus, run the hose to fires and climb ladders safely.

They were given demonstrations of how firefighters use cutting equipment to rescue people who have become trapped in their vehicles after road accidents.

But firefighter Liam Wheeler, who was one of their trainers, said: “We are not allowed to let anyone except us down our pole – for insurance purposes.”

The pupils started their course about five months ago before their summer holidays, and passed out on Saturday. Mr Wheeler said: “The aim is not to teach them to become firefighters, but to teach them team-building skills and how to adapt to different situations.

“It is about challenging yourself and overcoming doubts in your own mind to try new experiences.”