Thursday, 24 May 2012

Improving life chances for young people

On 28th May 2012, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will begin its 51st LIFE (Local Intervention Fire Course), which will be based from Hove fire station. 

Now in its 7th year running in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove, the LIFE course is aimed at young people who are struggling at school, home or in the community. It also includes those that just need some time out to get their lives back together.

The course is designed specifically to challenge young people aged 13-17 who may benefit from time within a uniformed & disciplined environment. We look to raise self-esteem, self-confidence, self-motivation and self-respect.

It’s a tough week and the participants are pushed to their limits. All young people overcome personal challenges and achieve many goals. During the course the participants are treated as their own ‘Watch’ and develop skills and techniques to improve their team work, discipline and boundaries.

They will experience a range of activities including using ladders to climb to the top of the tower, wearing breathing apparatus and carrying out search and rescue techniques. There are also a range of classroom based activities, where participants will look at consequences of actions, amongst many other things.

The course culminates with a ‘Passing out Parade.’ Invitations to the event are sent to the young people’s family or carers and staff and senior officers from the Fire Service attend. It’s an extremely poignant experience with each individual acknowledged and credited.

Anyone who has a responsibility for young people, whether they are an organisation, parent or guardian, can refer to the LIFE Programme and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will do our upmost to provide as many places as we can.

Dan Channon, Arson and Incident Reduction Team Manager, who’s organising the 51stLIFE course said:

“The LIFE programme gives East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service the opportunity to engage with young people within our local communities and break down barriers between young people and firefighters.

“We hope that it will help to reduce call-outs, fire deaths and injuries and also improve the safety of fire crews and the communities they serve. We want to work toward better outcomes for young people, helping them stay healthy and safe, to enjoy life and achieve their potential.

As East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service receive no additional funding for running this programme we are always keen to work with local companies who might consider funding a full course or individual places to provide more opportunities for local young people. To find out more please contact the team on 0303 999 1000 and ask for LIFE, by email, life@esfrs.orgor visit our website,

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