Lo­cal cadets need our help

Awards night marks end of State Gov­ern­ment pro­gram

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Biggen­den Emer­gency Ser­vices cadets need your help.

The group is putting the call out to the community for any as­sis­tance that will keep the cadets pro­gram run­ning.

Group or­gan­iser Moira Thomp­son said she wanted to main­tain what the group al­ready had.

“We have got 19 cadets who are en­thu­si­as­tic and at least five want­ing to join,” she said.

“So there is in­ter­est.

“But our big­gest hur­dles are get­ting in­sur­ance cover and hav­ing our train­ing na­tion­ally ac­cred­ited.

“What we would like is to have community sup­port with fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance and help from the adults.”

IT­WAS a bit­ter­sweet night for Biggen­den’s Emer­gency Ser­vices cadets.

More than 20 friends and fam­ily mem­bers gath­ered at the cadets’ awards night at the Biggen­den Memo­rial Hall last week.

The cadets were also hand­ing in their uni­forms af­ter the State Gov­ern­ment or­dered the clo­sure of the pro­gram in Septem­ber.

“Things that had the Emer­gency Man­age­ment Queens­land em­blem on it had to be re­turned,” Biggen­den ES cadets group or­gan­iser Moira Thomp­son said.

“The things we did keep were boots, trousers, t-shirts and hats.

“Even the train­ing man­u­als had to be handed in to be de­stroyed. What a waste.”

Ms Thomp­son has started a pe­ti­tion to keep the cadets pro­gram at Biggen­den run­ning.

And so far more than 200 peo­ple have signed it to show their sup­port.

Ms Thomp­son said she hoped to find some­thing to continue the cadets’ pro­gres­sion.

“Af­ter do­ing some re­search, the team of cadets have been given the op­tions of St John Am­bu­lance cadets, Biggen­den Life Skills Group or scouts groups,” she said.

“We would look at keep­ing things lo­cal if pos­si­ble with some train­ing com­ing from lo­cal nurses.

“But we un­der­stand that a lot of fundrais­ing and coun­cil sup­port will be needed to get this off the ground.”

Ms Thomp­son said the North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil had also ex­pressed strong sup­port to set up a community ser­vice cadet group.

“And it­would have some af­fil­i­a­tion with the State Emer- gency Ser­vices,” she said.

“We’ve had three pub­lic meet­ings and ev­ery­one has been very sup­port­ive about giv­ing the youth some­thing to do which ser­vices the community and is in­ex­pen­sive.”

On the night cadets and vol­un­teers were also recog­nised with a cer­tifi­cate of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for all their sup­port and hard work throughout the year.

Ms Thomp­son said she was very proud of her group. Along with their awards, the cadets each re­ceived a fold-up chair do­nated by The Den.

Photo: Sally Wheeler

FU­TURE UN­CLEAR: The for­mer Emer­gency Ser­vices cadets at their awards night re­cently.

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