Public Service students from Moulton College have this week (24 May) been put through their paces during a visit to Moulton Fire Station as part of their firefighter experience day.
Over the course of the day, around forty students joined White Watch crews from Moulton, Mereway and The Mounts, along with Youth Engagement Officer, Michelle Bates and Community Safety Officer, Jo Gouldson to get a flavour of life as a firefighter. They participated in job-related tests, which form part of the application process, running out hoses, moving ‘casualties’ and carrying equipment over a short distance.
The students also got to experience the ‘smoke house,’ albeit with only a small amount of smoke, where firefighters practice their search techniques. Wearing firefighter protective clothing and breathing apparatus, they were paired up and had to find their way around a dark building using communication and teamwork to locate a casualty and safely exit the property.
Helen Russell, Public Service Lecturer at Moulton College, who had organised the day with Watch Commander Aaron Childs said: “I was really impressed by the students’ engagement in the activities throughout the day. The Public Services course aims to provide the perfect stepping-stone to adjust to life working within the public service sector, learning practical and theoretical skills to improve employability.
“Aaron and the crews involved in the day, gave a real insight into the vital work the fire service does to keep the county safe, and the day has certainly sparked interest from a number of our students.”
In addition to the practical activities the students learnt about water safety. They were shown the best technique to use a throwline to provide potentially lifesaving help to someone in distress in water. Crews also offered a tour of the fire appliances including one of the Service’s Technical Rescue Vehicles and answered questions about careers in the Service.
One student commented: “All the activities were fun and enjoyable, and they really opened my eyes to a role in the fire service.”
Station Commander at Moulton Fire Station, Tom Hodson said: “We were delighted to host the firefighter experience day for the students from Moulton College and we are looking forward to working more closely with the College going forward.
“Working in the fire service is a great career for anyone interested in supporting their community. It’s not just about putting out fires. We attend a wide range of incidents, including floods, animal rescues, road traffic collisions as well as providing support to other emergency services. A large part of the firefighter’s role is carrying out community engagement work to increase awareness of fire risk and to prevent incidents from occurring in the first place.
“I am really pleased to hear that we have helped to focus some of the students’ minds on the fire service as a career and are always happy to talk more about the role with interested people.”
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service will be recruiting for firefighters in the Autumn. If you are interested in finding out more, fire stations around the county will be holding ‘Have a go’ days over the coming months. Please follow us on social media for updates and keep an eye on the Service’s website.