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Firefighting skills aim to combat yob culture

PUBLISHED: 17:30 12 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:07 05 October 2010

Youngsters at Shadwell fire station learning firefighting and rescue skills

Youngsters at Shadwell fire station learning firefighting and rescue skills

YOUNGSTERS really got to grips learning about fire-fighting, in a scheme originally dreamed up to reduce anti-social behaviour in London's East End. The Local Intervention Fire Education projecT was started at Shadwell fire station six years ago where it celebrated its 50th 'passing out' ceremony this week

By Mike Brooke

THESE youngsters really got to grips learning about fire-fighting, in a scheme originally dreamed up to reduce anti-social behaviour in London's East End.

The Local Intervention Fire Education project, known as Life, was started at Shadwell fire station six years ago.

It celebrated its 50th 'passing out' parade this week, at the very fire station where it was first tried.

The youngsters carry out activities including using ladders, breathing apparatus, casualty rescue techniques, problem solving tasks... and of course squirting hoses (pictured).

Now the original idea is now being copied throughout London and other parts of the country to help tackle anti-social behaviour among teenagers.

The Fire Brigade's Tower Hamlets Commander Dave Sharman said: "The programme has had a positive effect on the youngsters and gives them increased awareness of what the fire service does and develops their self esteem."

The scheme improves their motivation, confidence and team building skills. Many of the teenagers on the course have offended, are at risk of offending or may have been victims of crime.

Around 500 youngsters have completed the course since it began in 2002.

One of the kids taking part at Shadwell in 2003 has since gone on to be a serving London firefighter.

mike.brooke@archant.co.uk

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