St Albans students experience life as a firefighter

Oaklands students at St Albans Fire Station.

Oaklands students at St Albans Fire Station. - Credit: Archant

Students at Oaklands College got to have a taste of life as a firefighter when they spent the day with the crew at St Albans Fire Station.

The group of Level 3 Public Services students spent time with the station’s White Watch crew to use specialist equipment and uniforms and experience fitness testing, secure ladder climbs and the on-site smokehouse.

Once they were kitted out in safety gear the students used specialist cutters to free each other from scrap cars, giving them insight into how to handle and free people safely as well as first hand experience of being inside the vehicle as the crew worked on the car.

The activities were delivered at recruitment standard, so the students could experience the benchmark required to be a firefighter both in terms of physical fitness and skills required in the day-to-day role.

After the first round of fitness ‘bleep’ tests the students were joined by Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner David Lloyd, who dropped in as part of his monthly district day, in which he visits each of the county’s 10 districts meeting police and community organisations.

Commissioner Lloyd said: “I was delighted to attend this event, because we all have a part to play in keeping Hertfordshire safe and I congratulate the students’ enthusiasm.”

The firefighters organised the event to thank the students for their help in the station’s ‘Crucial Crew’ event earlier this year. The students helped man and event educating Year 6 children on citizenship and safety.

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Public services and sport tutor Ian Morrison said: “It’s not every day you get to be cut out of a car, or have to sprint with the weight of heavy hoses in hand. By no means have these students had a light, fun day - everything they have undertaken is exactly what a new recruit would face joining the service.

“For some, the fire service may be a chosen career path but so many elements of public services require the same fitness and skills. Many thanks to the team for providing the first-hand experience which will give our students a head start on what may be a chosen career in the future.”