HERVEY Bay Emergency Services Cadets (ECS) are celebrating the official relaunch of their unit.
With some 22 units across Queensland, the program typically operates from existing emergency service facilities such as Fire and Rescue stations, Rural Fire Brigades and State Emergency Services facilities.
The ECS is open to children aged between 12 and 17.
MP for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari represented Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan at the launch on Wednesday evening.
Mr Tantari said helped usher in the next generation of emergency service volunteers.
“After a decade of operation, the Hervey Bay ESC Unit was temporarily in recess,” Mr Tantari said.
“However, the emergency services community rallied together to re-establish this invaluable youth and community development program.
“This program has a strong focus on ‘building the next generation of emergency service volunteers’ by engaging young people in diverse volunteering opportunities.
“Cadets have experienced a road crash rescue demonstration, used breathing apparatus in a ‘smoke-filled’ room, and learnt shipboard safety with the local Volunteer Marine Rescue squadron,” Mr Tantari said.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Deputy Commissioner Michael Wassing said the program taught cadets valuable life skills.
“Cadets learn a range of emergency response and life skills such as building resilience, interacting with community mentors and emergency services personnel, developing leadership skills and a passion for volunteering,” Mr Wassing said.
“The program helps young adults find their purpose in the community through exposure to local emergency services.”
ESC units have the opportunity to participate in a suite of annual community events including the Cadet Games in Brisbane and Townsville, the Emergency Services Cadets and Associates Program of Excellence (ESCape Week) and an Adult Leader Conference to support the sustainability of the volunteer mentor cohort.
QFES funds the Emergency Services Cadets Program, which is delivered by the Queensland Police Citizens Youth Welfare Association (PCYC).
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