Blazin’ squad in 999 drills

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Teenagers had a riot spending time with the emergency services to learn about everything from tackling fires to controlling crowds.

The youngsters from Lytham and St Annes took part in a six-week course with Lancashire Police, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and St Johns Ambulance.

From giving first aid to a man who had been overcome by smoke fumes, holding a line to disperse a riot, to extinguishing a bin and house fire, the youngsters got a behind-the-scenes view of dealing with a crisis.

They have also climbed the fire training tower, been transported by fire and police vehicles, and learned first aid skills that could save someone’s life.

Tonight, to mark the end of the course, the students will perform a presentation to their parents on what they have learned, while wearing specially-designed uniforms.

PCSO Gary Boardman, from St Annes neighbourhood policing team, said: “The students who have taken part have really enjoyed learning about the work that we and the other emergency services do, and now have a greater respect for the sometimes difficult and demanding circumstances we deal with.”

The courses were aimed at building the teenagers, chosen from secondary schools across Fylde, self-confidence and team-building skills.

Paul Harrison, crew manager for Lytham Fire Station, where the course has been held, added: “The aim of the course is to instil self-discipline, self-confidence and teamwork, and above all respect for each other.

“Each and every student on the course has given 100 per cent effort, and hopefully they will go on to build on the skills we have taught them.”

Participation in the course can count towards a students involvement in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme or used to help secure future employment.

The youngsters have also been directed towards other activities, including the Scout Association, the Sea Cadets, and also Park View 4U based in Lytham. The scheme has proved such a success there are plans for two further courses planned for 2014.