GRITTY determination, guts and stamina were rewarded on Tuesday when 20 Orange Christian School students graduated from the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) cadet program.
Students learnt basic firefighting techniques including hose skills, pumping water and how to stay safe around fires, during the 10-week Secondary Schools Cadet Program.
Teacher and cadet supervisor Stephen Toms said the cadet program taught young students essential life skills, as well as skills such as teamwork and leadership, and the benefits of volunteering.
“It’s great to see them able to work together with other students they may not usually interact with,” he said.
“One of the main aims is to build up levels of Godly character and to do this is to build up kids to be leaders of the community.”
Mr Toms said the program was open to students in years 9 and 10 and was a privilege for students performing well in their school work.
He said there were always more applicants than places available in the program.
“The main aim is to give them these life skills but we have had other students who have joined [the RFS] further along,” Mr Toms said.
RFS Canobolas Zone membership coordinator Nils Waite said the cadet graduates thoroughly enjoyed their training.
“The whole idea of the course is to give the kids some life skills,” he said.
“It’s about being there to provide some sort of service and to understand that the community couldn’t survive without volunteers.”
More than 4000 students across the state have completed the RFS Secondary Schools Cadet Program since it began in 2005.