Dorset Fire and Rescue Service has seen nine young people pass out after another successful SPARC (Safer People And Responsible Communities) course.

The course, which was based at Hamworthy 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.

Gaynor Mant, Dorset Fire and Rescue Service's Arson and Youth Diversion Manager, told FIRE: "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.

hamworthyTN"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."

Nia Bailey, Social Work Assistant for Bournemouth Borough Council's Children in Need team, said: "We have referred teenagers for this intensive week-long work experience course and have received extremely positive feedback so far.  This course has a very good reputation that appears to exceed all expectations. The passing out parade on the final day has been a particular highlight for the young people."


Posted: 09.40am, 25.02.11