THE orange army was out in force last week, as the next generation of volunteers got a taste of the work done by the State Emergency Service (SES).
The young cadets navigated land searches, took part in mock retrievals and practiced hauling techniques during the week-long training course held at Bulahdelah Central School.
The program also included a visit to the Taree Emergency Precinct where the cadets toured the facility, tried the equipment and inspected rescue vehicles.
Year 10 student, Kya Morrison, said she gained the skills and confidence needed to be able to provide assistance during emergencies.
“The course allowed us to put the theory into practice and showed how important the SES is during emergency situations,” she said.
“The problem-solving activities helped us find new ways of doing things under trying conditions, using limited resources.”
The final part of the program will involve working through a series of simulated search and rescue operations during a field trip to Camp Elim next week.
Taking to the waters in flood boats for river rescues and jacking and packing will give the cadets a real feel for being an SES volunteer.
Regional Cadet Coordinator, Garry Fajks, said the course is about developing community resilience and developing life skills along the way.
“The cadets learn valuable teamwork and leadership skills that they can use in their everyday lives,” he said.
“The activity-based sessions, both inside and outside the classroom, also helps to improve their own safety and their response to an emergency.”
The SES Cadet Program has been running since 2008 and more than 3000 of the region’s students have taken part over the years.
By Daniel SAHYOUN