Life skills passed down

LIFE SKILLS LEARNT: Compton Country Fire Service Brigade cadet coordinator Renee Ackerley with cadets James, Jess, Alexei, Mia, Tyce and CFS senior firefighter Wayne Richardson and cadet coordinator Beth Warwick.

Charlotte Varcoe

FIREFIGHTING skills are currently being passed down through the Country Fire Service cadets program, equipping Limestone Coast youths with a number of important life skills.

Six cadets have joined the program with the CFS Compton brigade where they have learnt critical skills including map reading, radio communication and teamwork.

Compton bridage cadet coordinator Beth Warwick said the newcomers had settled into their roles well over the past five weeks.

“We only started taking on cadets in May and we will continue to take on new cadets all the time now,” Ms Warwick said.

“The cadets have been very receptive to the activities so far and enjoy learning the new things while also having the input into what they can learn.

“We ask them what they would like to learn and we base their activities around that.”

Ms Warwick said based on the response from the cadets, she believed they would continue their journey with the fire service far into the future.

“The good thing about being a cadet with the brigade is that they are able to put it towards some of their school learning experience but it is also a good way for them to serve the community as well and they are able to use us as references when they start applying for jobs,” Ms Warwick said.

“But there are also a number of benefits to the program including learning about fire awareness, how to respond during an emergency, basic life skills and teamwork.”

Compton Brigade cadet member Alexei said he joined the program following a tour of the station, spurred on by witnessing the significant New South Wales summer bushfires.

“I joined because I felt pretty helpless during the bushfires in New South Wales and here and it is something that I am going to continue to do,” Alexei said.

“I have enjoyed learning about the different equipment and what they are used for and the capabilities of the truck because not every truck can be used for the same thing.”

Fellow cadet Mia said she also enjoyed learning about the different equipment as well as the alphabet for the radio communication.

“I decided to join because I like helping the community and firefighting sounded like a really fun thing to do,” Mia said.

“I get to make new friends along the way and it is something I want to do when I am older because I enjoy helping the community and I find it really fun.”

Ms Warwick said although the Compton Brigade was smaller than many across the region, other brigades would also take on cadets throughout the year.

“We really like encouraging younger people to join as a cadet because they get involved with fun activities but also gain lifelong skills,” she said.