Larkhall Youths to become firefighters for a Day

  • Young people from Larkhall to attend a one day Fire Reach program
  • Targeted youths will integrate with Hamilton Fire Station and “become firefighters for a day”
  • The event will mark the opening of a new local community safety hub

South Lanarkshire’s Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will invite a group of Larkhall youths to become firefighters for a day at an event in Hamilton on October 18th.

Hamilton fire station has teamed up with the Machan Trust, a charity organisation based in Larkhall, as part of a one day fire reach program to promote community safety, giving young adults the opportunity to learn new skills.

Read More: Volunteers’ week and the Machan Trust

David Murdoch, station manager at Hamilton’s Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We bring them down to the station for the day, and they basically become firefighters for a day. We get them in fire gear and helmets, and we teach them how to run out hose, we teach them some first aid stuff, home fire safety visit, We teach them about CPR and resuscitation and things, and they basically integrate with the station for that day.

We’ve been doing the fire reach with different groups for several years, but this is the first time we’ll be doing a one day for the Machan trust, so this is a kind of new innovation.”

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Young people from Larkhall will be selected for the day, in a bid to better target their resources where they are most needed.

While trends are on the decline throughout South Lanarkshire, Larkhall still hold the highest record for numbers of deliberate fires set within the county.

Read more: Firefighters to run mountain marathon for charity

Mr Murdoch said:

“ In Larkhall we have a higher number of rubbish fires (secondary), anti0social behaviours fires, deliberate fires, and that’s why we try and target them. Mainly it’s the youth in Larkhall that are predominantly setting them, so that’s a target area.

We use the Machan Trust to target who they think would benefit most from it, so it’s not really a reward, if you like, it’s more somebody that needs a bit of positive role models in their life and a wee bit of structure.

“People who may be attacking police, attacking fire crew, a bit of anti-social behavior, setting fires and things. So we target these people, so it’s not the well behaved, it’s the folk we can helpfully try and make a difference with.”

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It will be the first event to take place at the new community safety hub, located at the Hamilton Fire Station, which is currently still under development.

The hub is a partnership unit with other South Lanarkshire services – police, ambulance, local authority, and some third sector organisations – who will use it to train small groups in various ways of protecting themselves and others.

Mr Murdoch said: “We’ll be looking at slips trips and falls, because the population is getting more elderly, or starting to look at how we can add value to slips, trips, and falls. Stuff with the British Heart Foundation in relation to teaching people about CPR and how they can save a life.

It’s generally just an education centre where we can bring groups in and educate them, not just I fire safety but just on general community safety and making the community safer that they live in.”

Hamilton firefighters respond to call:

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