YOUNG people are being encouraged to have a go at being a young firefighter ahead of its 20th Anniversary and the start of this years course.

The Young Firefighters scheme is a 36-week long programme, which is run by the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS).

It will offer young people between the age of 12-16 years old to learn a range of practical and theoretical skills, in the aim of making a positive impact on their career path.

Melanie Walker-O’Hare, a trained Young Firefighters Instructors, said: “By learning and taking part in team building activities, the cadets develop their personal skills and qualities that can increase self-confidence and encourage positive thinking.

“It is hoped that these essential skills will benefit them as they move onto further education or their chosen career.”

The next intake will begin in September later this year and will run until July, following the school terms and lasts for one academic year.

Ms Walker-O’Hare, added: “This course has historically had great success, with this being its 20th year running.

"During this time, over 500 young people have taken part across Royal Berkshire. This year’s intake is aiming to continue this success.”

The course will be conducted by instructors from RBFRS, who will set cadets a range of practical and theoretical fire service activities, including hose drills, breathing apparatus procedures and fire safety awareness sessions.

There will be four Young Firefighters units within RBFRS based in fire stations, each set to run one evening a week from 7pm to 9pm.

Units will run on Wednesday evenings in Reading and Crowthorne.

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