Bridges students learn Bridgehead skills

Bridges bridgehead nov 2022 01
Ewan Anderson, SFRS Watch Commander (left) tutored the new Bridgehead course at Lerwick Community Fire Station last week, with pass-out certificates presented on Friday to (left to right) Ryan Jamieson (Bridges Support Worker), Callum Macleod, Robbie Henry, Harrison Briggs and Leland Wiseman. Credit: SIC

Four young people involved with the Bridges Project last week took part in a new ‘Bridgehead’ firefighting course to develop their self-confidence and team work skills.

In firefighting, a ‘Bridgehead’ is a safe position inside any building where firefighting operations are carried out.  The five-day ‘Bridgehead’ course is a unique programme developed in Shetland by the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) offering young people a safe place to develop their personal skills, in line with a firefighting ethos of team work and responsibility.

The students spent time between the training room and the drill yard, and learned to use a range of firefighting equipment including pumps, hoses and appliances.  Alongside the practical activities, students reflected on their personal experiences, learning more about themselves in the process. The course aims to develop a ‘growth mindset’ which will encourage participants to achieve more positive outcomes in future.

The course was led by SFRS staff, and run in conjunction with the Bridges Project, part of the Council’s Youth and Employability Service, with the support of the Community Justice Service.  It is hoped that following the success of this pilot, the course may become available throughout Scotland.  

Jim Leask, Senior Support Worker with the Bridges Project, says: “This was a really exciting project for these young people to be involved in, supporting them to grow and reach their full potential.  This innovative partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service combined practical work with classroom activities to help them develop confidence and learn important life skills.”

The Bridges Project is part of the Council’s Youth and Employability Service, supporting young people aged 14-19 years old, either in education or coming out of education who need help and guidance into further education or the world of work.  The Bridges Project aims to build their confidence, self-esteem, motivation, skills and qualifications through practical and creative classes, outdoor activities and tailored 1-to-1 support. 

Published: 7th November 2022