Last week, Dorset Fire and Rescue Service saw eight young people pass out after another successful SPARC (Safer People and Responsible Communities) course.

The course, which was based at Dorchester Fire Station, allowed the students to learn basic firefighting skills, first aid and participate in team building activities. The students are referred to the course through partner agencies such as schools, youth offending teams and learning centres.

Rosemary Locock, Education Officer for Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, said: "This intensive week long course has allowed these young people, and many others before them, to work hard and start to turn their lives around."

The course is AQA accredited and is specifically designed to challenge and change the attitude and behaviour of the young people by getting them to:

  • Adopt a new set of personal values
  • Understand the consequences of firesetting and antisocial behaviour
  • Work co-operatively with others in a team environment
  • See the advantages of improving their learning and performance
  • Gain self esteem and self confidence
  • Improve communication skills

She added: "The project is delivered by specially trained firefighters and the main aim is to prevent young people from becoming persistent offenders or be permanently excluded from school. DFRS achieve this by providing the intensive five day work experience within a disciplined and focussed team environment. Each individual student is given personal responsibility for the management and maintenance of the fire engine they use during the course, its firefighting equipment and their own personal equipment."

The students had a passing out parade on Friday afternoon, where they performed a fire and road traffic collision demonstration, for their families who were invited to see what they had achieved. The pass out was attended by the Mayor of Dorchester, Cllr Tess James; Chief Fire Officer Darran Gunter; Chairman of the Fire Authority Cllr Rebecca Knox; High Sheriff of Dorset Alan Frost; and DFA Members Cllrs David Milstead, Trevor Jones, Ronald Coatsworth and John Wilson.

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Posted February 17th, 2012 at 0945 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: