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Fire cadets display outstanding teamwork during trip with The Cirdan Sailing Trust

Thirteen Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) fire cadets have gained official Royal Yachting Association (RYA) qualifications after completing a six-day sailing trip with The Cirdan Sailing Trust. 

The group of fire cadets from Shirebrook, Chesterfield, Ascot Drive, Ilkeston and Buxton were given the opportunity to challenge themselves, learn valuable and transferable life skills, and build camaraderie with their crewmates during the trip which began at Ipswich Harbour on Monday 24 October.   

Split into watches for the duration of the voyage the new shipmates were  tasked with various jobs to keep the boat running 24 hours a day such as anchor watch, meal preparation, swabbing the deck and the not so aptly named ‘happy hour’ which included brushing and mopping the lower deck.  

DFRS Youth Officer Dominic Wardle led the cadets on their sailing adventure supported by Inclusion and Youth Station Manager Mick Wyldbore-Wood and Glossop Firefighter Jolene O’Sullivan who volunteered their time.  

Station Manager Wyldbore-Wood said: “This sailing voyage offered a unique and once in a lifetime opportunity to do something outside of the traditional team building exercises we run with our cadets.” 

At the end of the trip, the cadets were all presented with official RYA qualifications by The Cirdan Sailing Trust with six gaining ‘Star Yachting Awards’, five ‘Competent Crew Awards’ and two receiving rarely presented ‘Watch Leader’ awards. 

Firefighter O’Sullivan said: “The teamwork displayed by the cadets was outstanding, as with sailing it's a team effort and many hands are needed to complete the tasks on deck. It was amazing to see the cadets grow in confidence from the first day to the last, taking control, making decisions and leading each other so much so that the last day the cadets ran the boat on the way home! 

“They earned different ranks of certification and  two cadets even got the top certificate that isn't handed out very often. Not only did they learn resilience on this trip as it was tough at times, with sleep deprivation, sea sickness and different weathers, they displayed respect for each other and empathy and really looked out for each other. 

“The skills they learnt will be with them forever and  the memory of  this once in a lifetime trip will never be forgotten by the cadets and me.” 

Derbyshire Fire Cadets is a two-year programme which provides young people with an insight into working within the fire service and an opportunity to develop transferable, practical skills for future training or employment. 

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Image of Derbyshire Fire Cadets aboard the Queen Galadriel with The Cirdan Sailing Trust