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  • Are you aged 13 to 16 as at 31st August 2021?
  • Are you able to commit to attending cadets for the next 2 years?
  • Would you like an exciting and unique opportunity to develop your personal skills in team work, leadership and citizenship through undertaking firefighter activities?

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service are proud to run National Cadet Units across Derbyshire.

Fire Cadets

Derbyshire Fire Cadets is an enjoyable 2 year programme where young people commit to attending one night a week at one of our four cadet units during term time.

A typical unit consists of 15 Cadets, all from varied and diverse backgrounds, aged between 13 and 16. The units are supported by our youth officers, operational firefighters and senior fire cadets.

The programme provides young people with an insight into working within the fire service and provides an exciting and unique opportunity to:

  • Work alongside experienced Fire Cadet Instructors.
  • Develop transferable, practical skills for future training or employment.
  • Gain a nationally recognised BTEC qualification and a certificate in First Aid.
  • Increase your knowledge of fire safety.
  • Enhance key citizenship skills and build confidence.
  • Work in partnership with other uniformed cadet organisations.
  • Play supportive roles in their local community and develop positive peer relationships.
  • And represent Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service at prestigious events.

The Fire Cadet units run at the following times and locations:

Fire Station Date Time
Shirebrook Monday 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Staveley Tuesday 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Ilkeston Wednesday 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Ascot Drive Thursday 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Joint Cadets

Joint Cadets is open to young people aged between 14 and 16 from a variety of backgrounds; representative of the communities we serve. Initially, this will be a 7-month trial and if all goes well, as we believe it will, it will then be extended to a 2-year cadet program.

As a Cadet, you will be treated as a young firefighter/ police officer. You will be provided with your own uniform and be expected to attend a weekly drill night at Buxton fire station from 18:00 till 21:00. You will be expected to show a certain amount of discipline and commitment, just like a firefighter or police officer. At the station, you will learn many of the skills used by firefighters and police, which will be challenging but you will work towards various qualifications, all whilst having fun and making new friends. These include: 

  • Understanding and demonstrating basic Fire & Rescue Service “Drill” activities such as: Road Traffic Collisions, Working at Heights, Pump Operation, Breathing Apparatus and Search & Rescue Techniques; using our specially designed youth kit.
  • Understanding and demonstrating policing knowledge and skills and procedures such as: Road Traffic Collisions, investigations of criminal offences, Operation policing unit responsibilities and skills, uniformed foot Drill etc 
  • Gaining an insight into the history and structure of the Police / Fire service
  • Learning the importance of fire safety and the consequences of arson and hoax calls
  • Participating in the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. This will include an overnight expedition.
  • Learning self-discipline and the importance of teamwork
  • Undertaking challenges and learning how to problem solve
  • Participating in community events with a wide range of partner agencies, such as the Army, Air Cadets, and more

At the end of the 7-month programme, we will evaluate whether the cadet unit is working well and will ensure all cadets know as soon as we can whether it will end at the 7-month period or if, as we hope, will continue to a 2-year program. If it is decided to end at the 7-month point, then a Pass Out will be made available for you to show off all your skills to family and friends.

How can I join?

To join, please click your preferred one of the Cadet station links after which you will be directed to our application form.

  • Apply to join our Shirebrook Fire Cadet Course **
  • Apply to join our Stavely Fire Cadet Course **
  • Apply to join our Ilkeston Fire Cadet Course **
  • Apply to join our Ascot Drive Fire Cadet Course **
  • Apply to join our Buxton Joint Cadet Course

** This course is not currently taking on new cadets

As part of the application process, you and a parent or guardian will be required to attend an information session at your chosen station. This will give you an opportunity to see what the Cadets are all about, meet some of the instructors, and ask any questions you may have. Dates for these sessions are to be arranged.

Once you have submitted your application you will be sent an email to book onto one of the information sessions that will be held either at the relevant fire station or online, depending on what the Covid safety protocols for DFRS are at the time of the information evening.

If you cannot attend the session of your preferred Fire Cadet Unit, you can request to attend an information session at one of the other cadet units by contacting the Youth Team via email

If you want to see what our current cadets are getting up to, you can follow them on Twitter @YouthDfrs and Instagram @youthdfrs

For any further enquiries please contact the Youth Team via email

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service is part of Youth United Foundation, which is a network of voluntary youth groups in the county. If you are interested in exploring cadet and youth group opportunities elsewhere within Derbyshire, visit the Youth United Foundation.