IT MAY be one of the toughest, most dangerous professions out there, but 13 secondary school students from West Limerick have shown that they have what it takes to make it as fire fighters.
Seven transition year students from Colaiste na Trocaire in Rathkeale and six students from Desmond College, Newcastle West last week took part in a basic training course laid on by the Limerick County Fire and Rescue Service.
Over the course of the five-day programme, the teenagers were given a tough and informative insight into the life of a retained fire fighter at Rathkeale fire station.
Chief fire officer, Carmel Kirby, said that the pilot schools initiative aims to teach young people about fire safety, first aid and fire prevention.
“The students were given manual handling training, fire extinguisher training, life saving first-aid training and some basic fire-fighting experience.
“Students were also given an introduction into technical fire safety and the fire safety enforcement role of the Fire and Rescue Service”.
The programme taught the ten boys and three girls some basic but vital information about risk factors in every day life which could lead to fires. The students were also trained in fire extinguishing, the provision of first aid and manual handling.
At the end of the week, they took part in a formal passing out ceremony in the presence of Ms Kirby, members of the Rathkeale fire service, Josephine Cotter-Coughlan of Limerick County Council and Leas Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, Cllr Leo Walsh.
Cllr Walsh said that he was “very impressed” by the student’s new-found skills and resolve. “They have clearly developed life skills that will stand to them in the future, while they have also learned about the hugely important work carried out by retained fire fighters across Limerick.”
Ms Cotter-Coughlan congratulated all the students who had taken part in the course, which she said “might also help them make more informed decisions in relation to their future career path”.