Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Little Havens Hospice Firebreak Course in Southend

A group of 13 youngsters  who are supported by Little Havens Hospice took part in a special Firebreak course held at Southend fire station last week.

The course, which ran from Tuesday March 29 to Friday April 1 had been created for the brothers and sister of children with life limiting conditions who are cared for by Little Havens Hospice. Firebreak uses firefighting training and skills to boost participant’s confidence.

Over the course of the week Firebreak develops participant’s skills in working together, builds their confidence, teaches them the value of team work and accepting responsibility as they undertake a series of challenging tasks including using the Service’s powerful hose reels, wearing specialist breathing apparatus, climbing ladders and rescuing people trapped in buildings and smoke logged rooms.

The week culminates in a passout ceremony in which the Firebreak crew show their parents some of the skills they have learned during their time with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

It is the second course which the Service has run in partnership with Little Havens following a successful course last February.

Senior Divisional Officer Julian Ashley presented the participants with their certificates at the ceremony. He said: “Seeing these young people at the pass-out ceremony today was truly inspirational. They have worked so hard over the week and I could not have been more proud of them or the instructors who worked with them.

“It is a real privilege for us at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service to be able to support such a worthy cause and work with these brave young people. The course is designed to boost their confidence by showing them how well they can rise to a challenge and everyone taking part should be proud of themselves because they have done just that.”

Alison Mullins, Sibling Support Worker at Little Havens Hospice says, “At Little Havens we don’t just care for the child who has a life-limiting illness but the whole family as well, including siblings. Our support groups offer children who have someone important in their life who has died or is poorly, a chance to ask any questions that may be worrying them and meet other children their own age who are in a similar position to them.

“Firebreak is a fantastic initiative and I know that all of the children who took part this week thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the chance to show their families what they have learnt. A big thank you to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, particularly everyone at Southend fire station. Together, we’re ‘Making every day count’.”

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