Police and fire cadets pass out together in Haverhill
In what could be a national first, cadets from the fire and police services were honoured jointly at a ceremony in Haverhill.
The event took place on Monday at Haverhill Football Club.
A group of 26 emergency service cadets took part in the passing-out parade, which marked the end of their 12- week induction programme.
They will continue to develop as cadets up until the age of 18 and will, throughout their training, regularly engage with the local community to take part in crime reduction activities and fire safety events.
Suffolk Constabulary and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service have offered young people in Haverhill a unique opportunity to be part of both the constabulary and the fire service as part of the ongoing Blue Light collaboration.
The cadets, all aged between 13 and 16, were recruited from local schools and other referral agencies and represent the diversity of the local area.
They meet every Wednesday evening at Haverhill Fire Station to study topics such as rank structures, training drills, interpersonal skills, first aid, radio procedures, leadership and team building.
All the cadets will have the opportunity to gain their bronze Duke of Edinburgh award and a Level 2 BTEC qualification.
Police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said: “I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact that the Cadet scheme has had on young people involved in existing units.
“I have financially supported the extending of the cadet scheme across the county and particularly welcome this link with the Fire Service in Haverhill.
Mark Hardingham, chief fire officer of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “We hope to encourage a spirit of adventure in young people where they will develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship.
“I wish all the young people every success as they pursue the opportunities the scheme presents and hope they enjoy their time working with our teams and their community.”
PCSO Steven Ridpath helps train some of the cadets. “It was brilliant,” he said. “They were really good.
“It could be a national first that they’re honoured like this. We’re hoping more people will get in touch to join in.”