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Hampshire Fire Headquarters open their doors to Public Services learners

Two classes of Level 3 Public Services learners have had the exciting opportunity of spending an activity-filled morning at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Headquarters.

Attendees had the chance to participate in six special activites which tested both their physical ability and mental resilience under pressure. Examples of fitness selection tests included the ladder climb, ladder extension and equipment carry, with further sessions on community engagement, recruitment processes and equality and diversity. The tour even extended to the control room, where trained professionals provided learners with insight into the responsibilities of this operator role, both in responding to emergency calls and mobilising resources to respond to crisis situations.

The participants, comprised of learners in both Year 1 and Year 2 of study, were split into six teams to ensure that everyone could engage in each activity on a rotation basis, while simultaneously nurturing teamwork and communication skills in a working environment.

Year 1 learner Katie Dodge said: “The trip to the fire station headquarters was one of my personal highlights of the course. The staff were so informative, friendly and encouraging when someone was struggling with their confidence. Experiencing and learning more about careers within the fire service was such a useful insight and left me eager to investigate potential work experience as well as a possible career in the field."

This session arose when Public Services lecturer Steve Jackson was approached by a learner whose father was an Operations Manager at the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Headquarters. Recognising the potential benefits of such a collaboration, Steve was keen to follow this up. After the event, he said: “Networking with our public services has always been one of the most important aspects of our course and a number of our students are now looking at pathways into fire and rescue careers, which they weren’t before. We have noticed a similar effect in our past collaborations, such as with the Royal Marines and Royal Navy, and we are now eagerly looking ahead to our next upcoming partnership with local police services.”

Our Public Services courses provide learners with the skills they need to develop future careers in this sector. During the programme, learners are given the opportunity to have direct contact and work experience with a number of public service providers, and can expect an active role engaging in outdoor and team activities throughout the year, in addition to classroom learning.

Learner Charlie Amos reflected on the recent trip: “The visit to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters was a highly educational and fun experience. As the son of the group manager who organised the visit, I thought that I already knew a lot about the fire service, but I was surprised how much I didn't know, and how much I learnt from the firefighters and officers, who helped our day be as good as it was.”

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