Students praised as potential firefighters of future after performing “outstanding” drill

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Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) delivers yet another successful programme for pupils in Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock Fire Reach

A group of students were praised as potential firefighters of the future after performing an “outstanding” drill at Kilmarnock Community Fire Station.

The 10 pupils showed off their very fast but precise skills in hose running and rescuing a ‘casualty’ from a pre-cut car that had been made safe.

Their impressive display on Friday, 4 March marked the end of an exciting week spent with SFRS instructors on the ground-breaking Fire Reach programme.

It teaches young people how to work as part of an effective team during simulated training exercises - and instils them with pride in a relaxed, safe and fun environment.

They were each given a certificate to mark the achievement by Councillor Tom Cook, East Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Equalities as their parents looked on.

The S3 pupils from Kilmarnock Academy were: Caitlin Gebbie, Shannon Allison, Melanie Anderson, Aaron Brown, Kevin Ferguson, TJ Freeburn, Jodie Fulton, Kyle Smith, Ross Tait and Kayley McGhee.

Their instructors were Carol Cairns and George Young.

Kilmarnock Fire Reach 2

Group Manager Kenny Hankinson is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Head of Prevention and Protection for East, North and South Ayrshire.

He said: “This group was, without doubt, one of the very best to have ever passed through our Fire Reach programme. They were completely enthused and involved from day one.

“They were extremely competent at their drill. The speed at which they carried it out was, quite simply, outstanding. They were really fast and really precise, and it was clear that they had worked very hard to get to that level.

“There is possibly a recruit of the future within this group. But we want them all to be ambassadors for the Service and we are confident that they will take everything they have learned about fire safety back to their families and their communities.

“It was very clear that their parents were equally impressed as they were full of praise for our Fire Reach course. I was told by one parent how it had boosted her son’s confidence.

“This course therefore not only teaches young people about fire safety and the different types of rescue work we perform, but how to work as part of a team, as well as healthy discipline and pride – principles which they will take forward into their adult lives.

“They should be very proud of themselves. I would like to thank their excellent instructors and the council for the funding that allows us to keep staging these fantastic events for our young people.”

The schoolchildren were supported throughout the week by East Ayrshire Council’s Vibrant Communities.

Councillor Cook said: “The students did an excellent job and they really should be thoroughly proud of themselves for putting on such a remarkable display.

“They are a credit to their parents, their school and their community, and it was fantastic to mark their achievement through the certificate presentation.

“On behalf of East Ayrshire Council, I congratulate everyone involved.”

SFRS is available to help ALL members of the community who require safety advice or need their smoke detectors checked or replaced.

To register for a FREE Home Fire Safety Visit call the SFRS Freephone number: 0800 0731 999, or visit the website at

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