Jewish fire cadets real trailblazers

First published in News
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This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A GROUP of teenagers has taken part in Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s first Jewish cadet scheme in Bury.

The seven young people have completed a series of modules based around the role of the fire service and personal development skills over the past 12 months.

After taking part in weekly sessions, based at Whitefield Fire Station and in the local community, the group of youngsters — called Fire Crew 37 — will soon receive their ASDAN (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network) qualifications, which will go towards their Duke of Edinburgh awards.

The project came about as the result of links between Bury’s community safety team and the Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade.

Bury’s community safety adviser Katie Swierczynski, who has worked with the young people, said: “The cadets all attend the Yeshiva Darchei Torah residential school in Manchester. They come from London and across the UK with a couple who are local to Greater Manchester.

“Over the past 12 months, the cadets have learned practical skills out on the station yard, including hose running and using hydrants, as well as learning about fire prevention and how to carry out Home Safety Checks (HSCs).

“They attended a Jewish personal safety event that we ran at Manchester Jewish Community Centre in June last year and have since completed scores of HSCs in Jewish homes. This was a great opportunity for their development and also enabled us as a service to provide vital safety advice to one of our hard-to-reach communities.

“It’s the first time we’ve run a Jewish cadet scheme and it’s been a real success. Once the group has finished the course, which we think will be around Easter time, we hope to recruit for the next scheme in Bury.”

The ASDAN Fire and Rescue programme is divided into eight modules, embracing communication, practical skills, safety and health, community safety, anti-social behaviour, road safety, teamwork and leadership.

The cadets also produced a DVD about home fire safety to learn some basic media skills, as well as taking part in anti-social behaviour and substance abuse workshops with representatives from Bury Council.

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