Around 32 Maclean High School students celebrated the completion of their NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Secondary School Cadet Program, with a ‘hands on’ demonstration of their acquired skills, at the schools sporting fields, last Wednesday.
Gulmarrad Rural Fire Brigade member Peter Watt said that during the 10 week course, cadets learnt all aspects of actual firefighting.
“Cadets were put into different working groups, which taught them how to get along with people they don’t know,” said Mr Watt.
“It’s an opportunity for us (as mentors) to get the message across to the cadets (during the course of program), that if you’re going to be a member of the RFS – DON’T touch drugs.
Maclean High School co-ordinator Neville Lang said that a lot of students take part in the program instead of choosing a sport, as they think it’s a cop out.
“Unlike other sports, the RFS program is free, so there is no cost involved for the students,” he said.
“Over time you can see a definite change in the cadets as their confidence level builds.
“Cadets in the past are now coming back as mentors to help guide and train the new intake of cadets,” he said.
Cadet graduate Mya Smith said that she had gained a lot during the program.
“The RFS values mutual respect, adaptability and resourcefulness, integrity and trust, support, friendship, camaraderie, community and environment, knowledge and learning,” said Miss Smith.
“We have learnt all these values during the last two terms as cadets.
“Another important value we learnt was; one team, many players and one purpose,” she said.
Gulmarrad Rural Fire Brigade captain Nick Clark said that the RFS Secondary School Cadet Program is a real plus for the community.
“Out of the 32 cadets who took part in the program, 11 cadets are now members of the RFS,” said Mr Clarke.