Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Colchester youngsters complete Firebreak course

A group of young people in Colchester have taken part in a special Firebreak course designed to build relationships between the military and civilian communities in Colchester.

The course which was held at Wivenhoe Fire Station last week, was organised with Colchester Garrison thanks to a £20,000 grant from the Armed Forces Covenant.  

The special covenant has funded five specially designed fire service courses, which will see a total of 60 children from military and civilian families in Colchester take part.

The course has been designed to develop the young people’s life skills, build their confidence, teach them the value of team work and most importantly build links between the town’s military and civilian communities.

The participants undertake a series of challenging firefighter tasks including using powerful water hoses, wearing specialist breathing apparatus, climbing ladders and rescuing casualties from a two storey building.

The week-long course finishes with a special “passout ceremony” where the young people showed their proud families and friends some of the skills they have learned during the course.

Donna Finch MBE, Community Development and Safeguarding Manager, said:

“We tailored this course to bring together primary and secondary school children from military and civilian families and to help build their relationships. It can be a difficult time for any child to move from primary to secondary school, so we have designed this course to boost their confidence and build relationships with children who have already made the move to secondary school.

“We have delivered hundreds of Firebreak courses which have helped thousands of people in Essex. We are extremely hopeful that the participants will reap the benefits in their future relationships with one another and in turn continue to make our communities stronger.”

Lieutenant Colonel Ciaran Griffin, Commander of Colchester Garrison, said:

“It has been fascinating to visit Firebreak to meet the young people taking part and find out what they have learnt, from practical skills such as first aid to developing personal attributes like teamwork and communication.

“This project is an excellent use of Armed Forces Covenant funding to develop links between young people from Colchester’s military and civilian communities when they are at the crucial – and sometimes difficult – transition between primary and secondary school.”

Anyone interested in finding out about the Firebreak courses can email:


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