Dundee teens put to the test by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

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Scotland’s Minister for Community Safety hears how ground-breaking youth programme will encourage positive role models

A group of Dundee teens were put to the test by firefighters yesterday – in front of Scotland’s Minister for Community Safety.

The four youths were challenged to safely find their way out of a “smoke filled house” as MSP Annabelle Ewing looked on.

And they worked as part of a team to negotiate their way through three separate rooms filled with harmless cosmetic smoke.

The mock exercise was staged at the city’s Kingsway Fire Station to highlight fire danger – and give them a massive sense of achievement.

But the outstanding effort of the teenagers, aged between 14 and 15, does not end there.

The exercise marked the first day of an exciting three-week engagement programme led by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with Dundee City Council's Community Learning and Development team.

Dedicated firefighters will provide workshops and practical sessions over this time to raise awareness of the impact of anti-social behaviour within communities.

This will be supported also by Police Scotland and the Scottish Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (SACRO).

The alternative-style workshop will see the students act out a specific role in a fire related incident, mentored by an adult. They will discuss the impact of fire raising on the wider community. 
Colin Grieve is the Local Senior Officer for Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross.

He was joined at the event by Group Manager Martin Tait, Watch Manager John Wade, Firefighter Kevin Phillip, youth worker Carrie Stewart and Stacie Robertson who is a youth justice worker.

Lso _colin _grieve

LSO Colin Grieve

The LSO said: “I would like to commend these young people for working together as part of a team to successfully complete this challenge.

“They should feel thoroughly proud of themselves and I am confident that they will continue to learn and progress with the full support and encouragement of our firefighters who are positive role models within the community.

“There is no doubt that the students will have been given a very rare insight into the training and skills of our firefighters who attend real fires and who work very hard, in some of the most challenging environments, to protect our communities.”

He added: “This programme shows the commitment of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to working with young people. As such, they will also be taught potentially life-saving CPR skills.
“Our partnership with the British Heart Foundation has equipped all 356 of Scotland's fire stations with Call Push Rescue training kits which could help save lives.”

Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Annabelle Ewing, said: “I am delighted to have had the chance to meet the young people involved in this exciting exercise and see some of the skills they have learned put into practice and I was greatly impressed with how well they worked as individuals and as a team.

“Not only does this course give them an insight into the challenges facing firefighters, but it also helps them develop valuable skills for life, including teamwork, problem-solving and confidence.”