One of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s (SYFR) numerous fire volunteers saw their hard work pay off recently as they completed their initial firefighter recruits course.
Rob Hall – who first started as a fire cadet at Darnall fire station before becoming a volunteer cadet instructor there when he turned 18 – was part of the 61st group of trainees that graduated recently.
He had volunteered at Darnall, and subsequently Rotherham, from starting there in 2013 to the start of his firefighter training course earlier this year. Before starting his training Rob also spent around 4 months as the cadet branch manager at Stocksbridge fire station.
He is now at the start of what he hopes will be a long and rewarding firefighting career with SYFR and said his volunteering experience helped give him a realistic insight into the role of a modern-day firefighter.
He added: “People often think the role of a firefighter is zooming around in fire engines, rescuing cats from trees and pulling people from burning buildings. My volunteering experience showed me that it was about much more than that and that knowledge was really useful during the application and training process.
“I’ve always enjoyed helping others and volunteering gave me the opportunity to do just that. The most rewarding part for me was being able to see how the scheme benefited the cadets.
“I’ve seen some cadets join as really shy young people, who struggled to make new friends, but then leave with confidence and new friends – both of which will hopefully benefit them for years to come.
“For anybody thinking about getting involved in volunteering I would say go for it – it’s a fantastic experience and makes a real difference.”
Volunteer fire cadet instructors work with teenagers aged between 13 and 17-years-old and help them develop their self-confidence and life skills through fire and rescue related activity.
To find out more about being a volunteer email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.syfire.gov.uk/find-a-job/volunteering/.