TWENTY-FOUR Inverell High School students have graduated as NSW Rural Fire Service cadets following 10 intensive weeks of training and studies.
As part of the Duke of Edinburgh Program, the Year 9 students met with RFS volunteers for two-and-a-half hours each Wednesday to learn about equipment, procedures and first-aid for firefighters.
NSW RFS Assistant Commissioner Stuart Midgley praised the cadets and said the program had given them skills to last a lifetime.
“The program also offers students the opportunity to experience firsthand the commitment and camaraderie that comes with volunteering,” Assistant Commissioner Midgley said.
Retired teacher Leonie Turner was one of the tutors who spent time with the RFS cadets.
“It’s great to get back with the kids, and the experience at looking at first aid, which is my love, and being able to impart that to the kids is just amazing,” Ms Turner said.
RFS Superintendent Chris Wallbridge said the RFS cadet program was in its fourth year
at Macintyre, second year at Inverell High School and fourth year at Tenterfield.
He said as cadets, the students were put into training scenarios with a designated crew leader and could learn, in a safe environment, how mistakes could jeopardise their crew.
“The commitment from our volunteers, not just here but from Macintyre, from Tenterfield and Glen Innes, is just outstanding,” Superintendent Wallbridge said.
The students themselves had a terrific time in the program, with one graduate particularly impressed with the firefighting apparatus.
“Just learning about the fire trucks and everything, how they work and the pumps and the hoses was really great,” Brendan Evans said.