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Young Firefighters Association

Fire Cadet Weekend Spring Camp 6/7th May 2006

The cadets travelled to Compton Farm amidst a very wet Saturday morning to set up camp ready for a weekend of camping, cooking, navigation exercises and sports.

Despite the appalling weather the cadets set up camp and food was arranged by youth co-ordinator Pauline Connelly, and adult helpers/instructors Kevin Beckett, Sam Ade, Wayne Jones, Damon Corr, Sharon Corr and Brigade Manager Paul Street.

In the afternoon cadets travelled by mini-bus to Brighstone Forest where an orienteering exercise was implemented in teams. The winning team were lead by Junior Instructor Grace Connelly whose team included Fire Cadet Sophie Jones, Fire Cadet Marie Howlett, Recruit Fire Cadet Kayleigh Hunnybun and Recruit Fire Cadet Kandi Waterman.

Group photographAn all girl’s cadet team lead by JI Eilidh Barr came second, leaving the boys section of the cadets in last place.

On the Saturday evening, post-dinner sports were carried out, and if the cadets thought they were tired at that stage, they certainly were following the eight kilometre night-navigation march to the Long Stone (Mottistone) and back. Along the march the cadets learned night navigation and improvised navigation skills, which unfortunately didn’t include using constellations as the sky was overcast with low cloud.

On Sunday morning and extending into the afternoon the cadets took part in Exercise ‘Down & Out’. This was intended to consolidate all they had learned regarding navigation and searching skills to carry out search and rescue of a downed pilot (another dummy) and an aircraft ‘black box’ from dense woodland in Westover and Chessell Down. Team Alpha 2 (lead by Leading Fire Cadet Dominic Perkis) successfully located the black box and returned to the command post on the Tennyson Trail, Team Alpha 1 eventually and with the assistance of hastily reinforced Team Alpha 3, (made up of team 2 cadets who weren’t too exhausted to continue) located the missing pilot and returned him to safety despite being thrown off course by an incorrect search start point location.

The weekend ended with a late lunch, pack and tidy up before returning to Ryde Fire Station and off home – for a well earned nights sleep.

More graduate to Junior Instructor

In spring 2006 Leading Fire Cadets Grace Connelly and Eilidh Barr, having turned seventeen, were invited and accepted the invitation to remain with the association in the role of Junior Instructor. Creating an opportunity for cadets who reach the maximum cadet age to remain in contact with the group, share their knowledge and experience and assist with training demands, is of great benefit to the adult instructors and helpers.

Breathing Apparatus (BA) Training – January/February 2006

Under the supervision of Branch Officer in Charge and Breathing Apparatus Instructor Damon Corr, the Cadets were introduced to skills required to safely and effectively use self-contained breathing apparatus at fire and rescue incidents.

For safety reasons the cadets detach the facemask from the air cylinder when training, but in every other respect the cadets deploy the BA equipment in the accepted manner used by fire services nationally.

The culmination of the training involved a large scale building fire exercise, using all fire cadets skills not only BA, in which they experienced carrying out simulated firefighting and rescues whilst wearing BA, Fire Cadet Ryan Walker admirably completed the tasks of a BA Entry Control Officer and Leading Fire Cadets Grace Connelly and Eilidh Barr commanded both the incident and sectors, detailing BA teams to search areas of the smoke-logged building until all simulated missing persons (dummies) were accounted for.

Annual Parade & Awards Ceremony – 11th September 2005

The Ryde Young Firefighters Annual Parade and Awards Ceremony was attended by friends and family of the cadets. Awards were presented by Councillors Charles Chapman and Barry Abraham, and Brigade Manager Paul Street.

Cadet of the year 2004-05Fire Cadet Ben Hallam received the award as ‘Cadet of the Year’ 2004/05. The award, assessed by FF Sam Ade of Ryde Fire Station, is based on commitment through attendance, behaviour, attitude and presentation during young firefighters activities.

Cadet gives fine display of basic fire and rescue skillsThe cadets gave a fine display of basic fire and rescue skills and disciplines before completing the practical element of the day with a light-hearted water-transportation team competition in which all competitors received a thorough soaking, welcome for some on a warm afternoon.

Many cadets received individual achievement awards based on completion of units attained through FIRECAP (Fire Cadet Achievement Program). Awards were made in home fire safety elements and fire-fighting skills. Leading Fire Cadets also received awards for showing the requisite levels of officership in leading fire cadets at both basic drills and full simulated building fire scenarios.

Leading Fire Cadet Youssef Samir-Youssef (commonly known to all as ‘Joe’), became the first cadet having turned seventeen, to graduate to the role of ‘Junior Instructor’. Youssef has been with the young firefighters since its opening in May 2003 and has been a keen and committed cadet, leading fire cadet and now junior member of the instructing staff. Youssef observed the protocol of handing over his cadet helmet to Councillor Charles Chapman and having it formally replaced with the same traditional fire helmet as worn by serving members of the service.

At the same ceremony cadets Grace Connelly and Dominic Perkis were promoted from Cadet to Leading Fire Cadet.

1st September 2005

Cadets at Sandown AirportFire cadets were treated to one-day airport awareness and flying course, courtesy of the Isle of Wight strut of the Popular Flying Association in conjunction with the Isle of Wight Airport, Sandown.

Cadets experienced first hand the thrill of flying in a light single-engine aircraft with qualified pilots at the controls to guide them throughout the day. Many were privileged enough to be permitted to ‘take the controls’ once airborne and the PFA members commented on the natural talent shown by the cadets, with a little tuition.

Image of planeAt the end of the day the PFA finally presented the cadets with an individual photograph of their experience together with a certificate accordance with the ‘Young Eagles’ programme, an international initiative intended to show young persons the joy and skills of light-aircraft piloting.