Gin Gin State High School students Brandon Levin, Ellis Scott and Sharn Hurley are learning to work as a team as volunteer rural fire brigade members.
Gin Gin State High School students Brandon Levin, Ellis Scott and Sharn Hurley are learning to work as a team as volunteer rural fire brigade members. Emily Prain

Fire program a great success

THE new school term started red hot for students from Gin Gin High School, who began their second instalment of the school-based fire fighting program.

Sixteen year 11 and 12 students are half way through the 12-week program which, upon completion, will have them awarded with a Certificate II in Public Safety and four points towards their Queensland Certificate of Education.

Program co-ordinator Charlie Garwood said the program gave students the basic skills for future career paths.

“By working as volunteers, they are helping their community,” he said.

As well as hands-on practical experience, the youngsters are learning how to protect the point of fire origin, workplace health and safety protocols, and how to work together as a team outside the school environment.

“When they are working as a team in the fire brigade, they are equal,” he said.

The students have already become volunteers with the Rural Fire Brigade, and part of the program criteria includes attending three brigade meetings and three training nights, in their own time.

Year 11 student Emily Roberts said the fire fighting program was an “amazing” experience.

“I was surprised it was on offer and I thought it would be cool to do,” she said.

Miss Roberts said she enjoyed the physical elements of the training, and enjoyed being part of a valuable team.

“You learn each others strengths and weaknesses – I feel like you can trust people more,” she said.

Principal Darren Wallwork said he had witnessed “significant” learning from the students involved and they were very passionate about the program.

“Because of the practical nature of the course, they have really become engaged,” he said.