Summerland Christian College students Kiara Watts, 14, CHloe Miller, 16, Liam Fletcher, 15, and Liam Parker, 14, are part of a larger group of students from the school doing a 10 week course with the RFS.
Summerland Christian College students Kiara Watts, 14, CHloe Miller, 16, Liam Fletcher, 15, and Liam Parker, 14, are part of a larger group of students from the school doing a 10 week course with the RFS. Marc Stapelberg

Cadet fire-fighters in the making

SUMMERLAND Christian College students have wrapped up their final learning challenge as part of the NSW RFS Secondary Schools Cadet Program.

The 10-week program provides Year 9 and 10 students with an insight into fire safety and prevention whilst developing practical life skills and a general appreciation of community service and volunteerism.

RFS Cadet Course Coordinator, Steve Garbutt said the first thing they teach in the course is how to work together as a team.

"We introduce them to the trucks, show them all the equipment and how it operates and get them to operate it themselves,” Mr Garbutt said.

"We also had a map reading exercise, where we gave them certain points and had a pretend fire that was coming towards the school.

"They had to use group references to work out how to contain that fire and what equipment they could use to do that.”

They learnt how to use a radio and the codes RFS use, and how emergency services work together with the police.

Mr Garbutt said he gets as much enjoyment out of the course as the kids do, and they seemed to appreciate his teachings and presented him with a certificate which he said was "very special”.

"They are very good at asking questions, they challenge me sometimes.”

This is the first year Summerland introduced the program into the curriculum, and students gave it glowing reviews.

Year 10 student Liam Fletcher said learning how to use the equipment has been the most invigorating part of the course for him.

"Learning how to use the hoses and being in the trucks has been fun... it's something different to do,” Mr Fletcher said.

"My mum was a firefighter so I'd like to follow her.”



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