STUDENTS have been put through their paces with a week in the life of Abergele firefighters.

As part of the Welsh Government-backed Phoenix Programme, twelve Coleg Llandrillo Construction students were challenged to learn the ‘Principles & Practice of Firefighting’, ‘Consequences of Crime’ and ‘Fire Safety in the Home’ before a final display in front of family and friends.

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The students learned skills including hose and water drills

The course took place at Abergele fire station, and saw students gain experience in a number of exercises including squad drills, hose and water drills and becoming accustomed with all aspects of firefighting equipment. The students also went to Mold Fire Station and learnt how to put up a ladder to the tower and work 'hands free'.

Alex Clay, Coleg Llandrillo lecturer, said: “They all enjoyed it and felt that they had taken themselves out of their comfort zones. We were amazed at how they all gelled as a group and by the end of the week they were working as one team and communicating with the whole group and not just their close friends. The level of discipline that they showed was fantastic and the display on the Friday was amazing. We were so proud of their achievements.”

The students had the opportunity to go into the 'bunker' where they had simulated tunnels set up and their masks were blacked out. They then worked in small teams to navigate their way through these narrow tunnels by communicating with one another, feeling their way through and shouting instructions to one another.

They also did search and rescue exercises, which were used as practice for the final display on the Friday.

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The students proudly receive their certificates after a week's training

The students were presented with a set of Agored Cymru accredited certificates on completion.

Assistant chief fire officer Kevin Roberts said: “We aim to support young people in increasing their self-esteem and self-belief, to help them work better as a group, and to capitalise on their strengths. We have found that the programme ‘lights a spark’ and their attendance and attitude improves immeasurably.”