Stu­dents at front line of de­fence

Tablelands Advertiser - - NEWS - Bec Singh

SEVEN stu­dents from Ma­reeba State High School will be help­ing to pro­tect their com­mu­nity as new fire­fight­ers.

The young men were awarded a cer­tifi­cate II in pub­lic safety (fire­fight­ing op­er­a­tions) on Tues­day and will be fully equipped to tackle any in­ci­dent.

New fire­fighter Liam Geary said he fin­ished the course to help pro­tect the com­mu­nity from fires.

“It is good to have peo­ple fight­ing fires and it is al­ways good to help the com­mu­nity,” he said.

“The course took about a year where we started as vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers and now we are qual­i­fied se­nior fire­fight­ers.”

Ma­reeba State High School Vo­ca­tional Ed­u­ca­tion se­nior ad­min Fionna Lane said the stu­dents had changed a lot since com­plet­ing the course and it was a great ini­tia­tive for stu­dents.

“They were un­sure about what they wanted to do after leav­ing school but do­ing this course has given them a pur­pose in the com­mu­nity and made them men,” she said.

“They can help with any sit­u­a­tion, they are con­fi­dent, they have gained lead­er­ship skills and have learnt about the im­por­tance of team­work.”

“I feel they will be equipped for the fu­ture.”

Ms Lane said this course has been amaz­ing and th­ese stu­dents will be placed into sta­tions that are low in num­bers.

Ma­reeba State High School’s vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram has cre­ated many path­ways for stu­dents want­ing to re­ceive work­place ex­pe­ri­ence and com­plete a cer­tifi­cate while at school.

Ma­reeba State High School head of se­nior school Jenny Walker said the pro­gram only works by com­mit­ment from stu­dents and the busi­nesses.

“Stu­dents miss a whole day of school when they are un­der­tak­ing their cer­tifi­cate and they have to work hard to catch up on the day they missed,” she said.

“We work with the busi­nesses and try to find a day that is suit­able for the busi­ness and ben­e­fi­cial for the stu­dent.”

Ap­pli­ca­tions for next year are cur­rently open.

Pic­ture: Bec Singh

Newly ap­pointed fire­fight­ers Liam Geary, Boaza Strick­land, Daniel Pe­dro, Jodeey Strick­land, James Elmes and David Smith ready to help their com­mu­nity.

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