Firefighters for the future

Client:

Youth in Emergency Services (YES); a collaboration between UFBA (United Fire Brigades Association) and the Ministry of Youth Development.

Client contacts:

Judith Stanley, Project Manager UFBA
Deanna Roa, Business Manager UFBA

Training course(s) Provided:

Custom fire safety and emergency preparedness for 15-19 year olds (including unit standard based assessments)

Date(s):

2013 - ongoing

The Challenge:

Judith Stanley, Project Manager and Deanna Roa, Business Manager, UFBA, first came up with the “audacious idea” for a youth development programme aimed at building a sustainable pathway for volunteer emergency services, capability building in fire safety, risk awareness and emergency response  training in 2012.

Finding a training provider which could deliver the fire and emergency training, and share their vision and passion for the programme was paramount.  It was also crucial that the instructors could work  with the teenagers (a mix of high and low achievers, from a range of backgrounds) and recognise  different needs and learning styles. 

Finding a training provider which could deliver the fire and emergency training, and share their vision and passion for the programme was paramount.  It was also crucial that the instructors could work  with the teenagers (a mix of high and low achievers, from a range of backgrounds) and recognise  different needs and learning styles. 

The programme is  also about  providing young people   with work-ready skills to enable them to transition into  the workplace and  prepare them for a safer future. Value-add skills include team building, self-confidence, time management, and problem-solving as well as basic   fire-fighting,  risk awareness and  emergency response. It is essential that the instructors are able to work with  young people and teach  essential  life skills.

Deanna and Judith approached several  training providers and soon  discovered the readiness of FETS to  understand the vision and adapt to the needs of students made them a good fit for programme delivery. It also helped that they were cost-effective and flexible.

Enter FETS – So much more than just training providers

Deanna was already familiar with FETS through her prior role with EMQUAL, an industry training organisation.  (EMQUAL was involved in the early stages of the youth project before the organisation ceased to exist in 2015 and the programme picked up by YES.)

When Deanna and Judith first approached Trevor Moss, Joint Managing Director of FETS about the programme, they discovered a team whose ability to listen to their requirements, and provide practical solutions within budget, set them apart from the rest.  Furthermore, the company owners, both ex-fire service and current volunteer members were totally committed to contributing to their local communities and could see the potential for encouraging young people in a secondary career in the emergency services sector.

Trevor, together with Business Manager Sandy McPake, then worked in partnership with Deanna and Judith to develop a custom course which met the brief  and the budget!

 “We’re delighted to be a partner in this programme. Helping the students to develop practical life skills which will stand them in good stead (and could even save a life), is an investment in our youth.  And we’re teaching them to become good community citizens by encouraging them into volunteering and the value of being part of a community based emergency response team.  It’s training for the future,” said Sandy McPake, FETS Business Manager.

From the initial pilot launched in October 2013, the collaboration has gone on to deliver the programme to nearly 150 young people, through nine different programmes.

Each programme includes a  a risk assessment strategy for each venue and can be developed to meet the needs of the specific groups of students..  As well as training delivery,, FETS also provides evaluation reports for  participant , which are sent to school career advisors for distribution and discussion with the students.  The programme is NZQA approved and includes unit standard assessments at level 2 and 3 on the NQF. 

What the Client Said:

“FETS has enabled us to develop the potential of the programme which has evolved into an effective foundation skills training pathway for young people. Working with FETS felt like we had a really effective team of people backing us up and wanting the programme to succeed. The professionalism of everyone from instructors to management, including administration and support staff was excellent. They got it from the get-go and made our job so much easier by providing a fun, safe and quality learning experience.

Judith Stanley, UFBA Project Manager

 

“I just don’t think we could’ve done as much if FETS hadn’t been so accommodating and engaging from the start. Absolute professionalism to a ‘t’. “

Deanna Roa, Business Manager, UFBA

 

What’s next?:

Acquiring funding for the programme is an ongoing challenge but FETS is committed to supporting the programme and working to constantly improve and develop additional courses for young New Zealanders.   

Read more:

The Next Generation Says ‘Yes’ to Emergency Response Training, Loralee Hyde in UFBA News, August 2015

http://www.ufba.org.nz/news/Youth_Emergency_Services

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