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Students transform into trainee firefighters for pilot programme

6 December 2022

Public Services students from Chichester College have completed the first IGNITE programme set up and ran by West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.  

IGNITE is a week-long training programme aimed at young people aged 16 and above to push those interested in the services further in their education, in particular those who struggle with low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and resilience. 

The week-long programme covered a wide range of activities and drills including running hoses, squirting water, putting up ladders, rat run tasks and much more to give each participant a feel for what it would be like working in the fire service. 

Alongside the physical aspects of the course, the students were given the opportunity to learn about the importance of nutrition and take part in discussions and mindfulness activities. 

To round off the week, a special Passing Out Parade took place to celebrate the students’ achievements at Bognor Fire Station on Friday 2 December. 

Rob Giles, Head of Learning for Sport and Public Services at Chichester College, said: “For many years we have had a fantastic working relationship with West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and this programme really took students to the next level in their off-site work experience. 

“Every student who took part and completed IGNITE should be so incredibly proud of themselves and thank you to the team who at West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service who provided such a great programme of events as always.” 

Students were congratulated at Friday’s event by West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Peter Rickard and the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Mr James Whitmore who presented them with their medals and certificates. 

Assistant Chief Fire Office, Peter Rickard, said: “I was delighted to meet the students who took part in our first IGNITE programme. 

“The skills they have learnt will support them in whatever they choose to do in the future, and I hope many of them will consider a career within the fire service.” 

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