YOUNG people at risk of offending have begun a course at
Rochdale Fire Station which will earn them a qualification.
The group of young people from the Rochdale area, who range in
age from 10 to 14 years old, started the course with a road traffic
collision demo in the station yard on Tuesday, July 24.
Four of the youngsters volunteered to be 'casualties' for the
demo and were cut out of a car by crews from Blue Watch as the
others watched on.
Morgan Beales, aged 13, said: "It was really scary - I just
couldn't move and I kept my eyes shut. It felt real and it will
definitely make me think about my behaviour because it's so much
effort for the firefighters to help you and get you out if you've
been messing around in a car and have an accident."
The young people will complete five afternoon sessions with Blue
Watch at the station over the school holidays to gain the
anti-social behaviour element of the ASDAN Fire and Rescue
The course is aimed at raising awareness of the consequences of
anti-social behaviour and providing the young people with a greater
understanding of the work of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue
Service (GMFRS) in a bid to bring down the number of anti-social
behaviour related incidents such as nuisance fires and hoax calls
over the school holidays.
All the young people have been referred onto the course by the
Rochdale Youth Offending Team (YOT) prevention team because they
are at risk of offending and anti-social behaviour.
The ASDAN Fire and Rescue programme is divided into eight
modules: communication, practical skills, safety and health,
community safety, anti-social behaviour, road safety, teamwork and
GMFRS' Children and Young People coordinator for Rochdale, Sarah
Draper, said: "The course is quite flexible and we can choose what
courses to deliver - we've been focusing on the anti-social
behaviour module because it's relevant to this particular group of
young people because of their age and background.
"We included the road traffic collision demo to give them a
flavour of the road safety module because although they're too
young to drive, we want to prevent them feeling peer pressured into
getting into a car with someone who is under the influence of drugs
"They will gain one credit of the ASDAN accredited qualification
for the anti-social behaviour module and if they want to continue
with any of the other modules we can deliver those by working
flexibly with the young people to fit those other modules in."
The youngsters will collect their certificates at a ceremony on
Saturday, August 18, when they will also perform a demonstration
for their YOT workers, parents and guardians.
Blue Watch Manager Ian Read said: "We're really happy host this
group of young people at the station - it's a good opportunity to
reach an age group on the cusp of anti-social behaviour,
fire-starting and crime and teach them something constructive,
hopefully before it's too late."