Twenty-six emergency service cadets in Gin Gin were officially introduced to the PCYC Emergency Service Cadet program as the program celebrated its first birthday.
In its first 12 months the program has experienced great success and the fantastic response from the community has required a waitlist be created for new members to join.
The program is for youth aged between 12 and 17 and features activities to develop essential skills at regular meetings at the SES complex.
Students are eligible to stay in the program until they finish grade 12, or they turn 17 if they leave school prior to completing grade 12.
Gin Gin Local Cadet Coordinator Charlie Garwood said the program involved a range of emergency services and local volunteer organisations.
“We formed in October last year and we had a very high intake with 26 cadets plus 12 leaders which includes at least one leader from each emergency service in Gin Gin,” Charlie said.
“Each week on a Monday night we meet at the SES complex in Gin Gin and we put the cadets through various activities.
“They go through skills and drills from each different service that come in on the night, for example the police or rural fire service.”
Charlie said while there were a range of different activities undertaken by the cadets to teach them different skills including teamwork and problem solving.
“For us, teamwork, and problem solving skills are just as important to encourage them to continue to get on with each other and see their own value and self-worth,” he said.
“We also teach them a bit of discipline as they get a uniform and once that uniform is on, they are an emergency services cadet.
“We like them to keep a standard and show respect, for themselves and for their fellow cadets, for leaders and their community.”
The program is completed in 10-week blocks to align with the school terms, with opening and opportunities for those on the wait list to be accepted into the program as the school year ends, or new terms begin.
Charlie said the response from the Gin Gin community had been fantastic towards the cadet program and thanked them for their ongoing support.
“The response from the community has been brilliant.
“We did the ANZAC march and the feedback we got from that was absolutely magic, and everywhere we go we get asked how the cadets are going,” he said.
After youth complete the program, there are opportunities for them to join the Volunteer Fire Service and similar organisations to learn more about what it is to be a volunteer within the community.
The Gin Gin Emergency Service Cadet program is a joint initiative of PCYC and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
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