Salamander is a tailored development programme designed to promote empowerment in a positive environment whilst also encouraging team work and the supporting of others.
The primary aim of Salamander is to work with young people in Wiltshire and provide them with experiences that will help them to learn new life skills and gain confidence. However, in recent years, we have expanded our remit and now work with a variety of organisations across the public, voluntary and private sectors.
Our key objectives are to:
- Establish links with the community and partner organisations.
- Project a series of messages regarding fire, road and water safety.
- Enhance the image of the Fire and Rescue Service within the community.
- Gain feedback from participants on their attitudes to fire, arson etc.
- Encourage a more diverse range of people from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop self-esteem and confidence in their ability to achieve more than they thought they could.
- Develop skills amongst Fire and Rescue Service personnel in dealing with the community.
Who is Salamander for?
Due to the size and weight of the protective clothing that participants are required to wear, the minimum age to join a Salamander course is 12. Apart from this stipulation, we are able to cater for groups of varying sizes and abilities, although we prefer to work with no less than eight participants and no more than 16.
In the past, we have worked with a number of organisations, including Job Centre Plus, Young Carers, GreenSquare Housing Association and the Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group. We have also worked with numerous schools throughout Wiltshire.
As well as working with the public and voluntary sectors, we can hold events for private sector organisations in the form of away days and team building experiences. The modular nature of Salamander means that it is easy to arrange a day that appeals to all members of your team.
What can I expect from a Salamander course?
The course can vary in length, depending on the requirements of the client. Courses can also include nationally recognised certificates in first aid, health & safety and food safety.
Below are examples of the activities available:
- Hydrants and pumping water
- Safe use of ladders
- Rope rescue (abseiling)
- Road traffic collision extrication
- Search and rescue
- Casualty and trauma care
- Water rescue
- Road safety
In addition, we work with Wiltshire College and Swindon College to offer the following courses:
- Health & safety
- Food hygiene
- First aid
- Employability skills
- Life skills
We can offer a variety of activities specifically aimed at corporate days, including raft building, scenario solving and Talent Dynamics, which is a workshop provided by an external agency, using psychometric tests to analyse team dynamics.
Where is Salamander held?
Salamander is held at designated fire stations across the county, and courses are run by fully trained, operational firefighters who work hard to share their knowledge and skills with the young people and provide positive role models for them. Our primary Salamander stations are Trowbridge, Chippenham, Salisbury, Warminster and Swindon; however, other stations are available upon request.
What are the benefits of the programme?
The benefits of Salamander differ depending on the client group. However, the primary aim is to provide an experience based on the core ethics of the Fire and Rescue Service, as this encourages self-confidence and improved teamwork.
The programme is designed to change each participant’s attitude and behaviour by challenging them to:
- Adopt a new set of values;
- Address consequences of anti-social behaviour and fire setting;
- Co-operate with others;
- See the advantage of improving their own learning and performance;
- Gain self-esteem and self-confidence; and
- Improve their communication skills.
For more information, please contact our youth intervention coordinator Christine Sharma – [email protected] or call 07771 594981.