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Firefighting course for young people and adults with Down’s syndrome

Date: 23rd August, 2017

A week-long firefighting course for young people and adults with Down’s syndrome will finish this Friday (25 August) with a Pass Out Parade and demonstration.

It is the ninth time that Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has worked with Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group to run the skills course known as Salamander.

Over the week, a group of 17 young people and adults – aged between 12 and 30 – are supported by local firefighters, a police officer and paramedics to develop their confidence and self-esteem.

The Salamander programme encourages participants to work as a team by learning firefighting skills such as using hoses, pumping appliances and hydrants; abseiling; ladder climbing; search and rescue; casualty care; road traffic collision rescue skills and water rescue.

At the end of the course, which is being held at Swindon fire station, the group put on a display of their new skills for family, friends and senior Fire & Rescue Service officers.

Watch Manager Mark Evans, who organises the course, said: “This is always an incredibly rewarding week, not just for the young people and their families, but also for the instructors from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Wiltshire Police and South Western Ambulance Service. For some participants, it is their first time on the course; for others, it is a repeat visit – in both cases, we see the young people grow in confidence throughout the week.”

He added: “The final presentation on the Friday is so much fun, the group love showing off their new skills to their families, and the parents get so much joy from seeing what their children have achieved.”


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