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Emergency Services Cadets ‘Pass Out’ in Birmingham 14/01/2014

A dozen Year 6 children from a Birmingham school have ‘passed out’ as Emergency Services Cadets – some of the first to do so under a national pilot scheme.

Proud parents, teachers and pupils at Wilkes Green Junior School in Handsworth joined the cadets at a special assembly, which saw them become only the second troop of ESCs to pass out nationwide.

Since the start of October, they’ve been attending after-school cadet sessions run by Emergency Cadets Presentationtwo ‘peer educators’ – young role models and members of Sutton Coldfield Young Firefighters Association.

Tom Wilkes and DJ Hanson have developed the scheme and worked with one of the school’s local Police Community Support Officers to deliver a programme designed to be fun and engaging.

The cadets have learned about issues including social responsibility and personal safety, the consequences of actions, and first aid. The scheme has also introduced them to the roles and work of the emergency services.

At each session the cadets are organised into ’watches’, and take part in activities which are designed to boost their teamwork and communication skills.

Kat Harris, WMFS Youth Services Officer, said: “The cadets have done amazingly well, and we were very proud to see them passing out. It’s a testimony to the hard work that Tom and DJ have put into the scheme, and the great support they’ve had from the school.

“The group has had a great mix of members, reflecting the diversity of the local community. They’ve developed and helped each other as the weeks have passed, becoming more and more confident along the way.”

Headteacher Avtar Singh Mangat said: “We’re very pleased to be only the second school in the country to be part of the national pilot of Emergency Services Cadets. The Year 6 children who took part very much enjoyed it, and worked closely with their peer educators.

“Thanks to the scheme, the children now have an increased understanding of the different emergency services, have developed their own skills, and are now more aware of safety procedures and their social responsibility.”