Shadwell youngsters learn how to be firefighters

The 500th group of young people to benefit from a firefighters’ programme took part in a passing out parade and learnt drills at Shadwell fire station on Friday.

Nearly 5000 youngsters across the capital have benefited from the Local Intervention Fire Education course, first set up by the London Fire Brigade in Tower Hamlets in 2002.

Originally designed to counter anti-social behaviour against fire crews, the course teaches youngsters fire-fighting tasks like the use of ladders, breathing apparatus and rescue techniques.

At the location of the first ever LIFE course, the young group took part in drills and a parade in front of London fire commissioner Ron Dobson and the chairman of the London Fire and Emergency planning authority Brian Coleman.

The authority’s finance and personnel committee recommended last Tuesday that the course become a fully funded Brigade programme with a dedicated budget of �1 million.

Mr Coleman said: “The programme has helped put thousands of youngsters on the right track since it began.

“We now have one of the lowest rates of attacks on firefighters in the country. Hoax calls and deliberate fires are also decreasing across London, and LIFE has played a big part in driving those figures down.”

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There are now nine LIFE centres across the capital.

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