FIREFIGHTERS are often admired by young people because they rush towards a fire when members of the public need to get away, and as part of an innovative education scheme Conwy and Gwynedd pupils learned what it takes to be in the dangerous profession.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Phoenix Project aims to teach young people who face self-confidence issues or engage in anti-social behaviour the individual and team skills required to be a firefighter.

Pupils from Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle, Penygroes were invited to Llanberis Fire Station where they put on the famous yellow uniform and hard-hat and tackled various firefighting scenarios. They are targeted at challenging participants’ attitudes and developing their independence, sense of responsibility and cooperation.

Pam Roberts, Phoenix Project co-ordinator, said: “The fire and rescue service attracts young people, which gives us the opportunity to try to influence their behaviour. Phoenix offers a unique experience to nurse features such as respect, communication and trust.

“The week includes a mixture of learning in the classroom, where the young people learn the results of actions, then activities in the training yard where we promote working together as a team, risk assessment and sticking to instructions.”

The skills that the pupils learned during the project were celebrated in a ceremony of achievement, with fire service’s chief officer, fire authority members, parents, guardians and staff from each school present.

"The further objectives of the course is to support the young people to strengthen their motivation and feel more positive, who are doing them better citizens,” Mrs Roberts said.

"We hope to be going on this inspirational course made a difference to the lives of these young people, and they will take the important and taught lessons back with them and shared them with family and friends."