Students on college’s groundbreaking course will hold charity car wash at Barnstaple campus this Saturday.

MEMBERS of the 999 Academy coordinated by Petroc, will be hosting a charity car wash at the college’s Sticklepath campus in Barnstaple on Saturday (April 28) from 10am–4pm.

The students form the first ever academy in the country to encompass all four emergency services and have chosen to raise money for Children’s Hospice South West at their first fundraising event.

Since October, academy members have been learning new skills with the help of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue, the Maritime Coastguard Agency, the South West Ambulance Service and Devon and Cornwall Police.

The weekly course aims to inspire young people to become valued and respected members of the community, while giving them the skills to help them make career choices in the future.

In addition to classroom-based sessions, students have been putting the theory learned into practice. They have visited the Fire and Rescue control centre in Exeter, witnessed live emergency calls coming through and how they are dealt with.

They have also attended a training scenario at Ilfracombe police station, where they learned about powers of arrest and the duties of a police officer and worked with the coastguard in Westward Ho!

In the remaining weeks of their course they will undertake a Conflict Resolution qualification, to add to aq First Aid qualification obtained earlier in the year. They will also undertake water rescue, mud rescue and rope rescue exercises and demonstrations.

Louise Laing, who has been coordinating the academy, said: “In recent feedback sessions, we were thrilled to learn that several of the students said that the 999 Academy was the highlight of their week.

“The Academy has given them a far greater understanding and knowledge of all the emergency services and how they all work together.

“We have seen over the weeks how their confidence has grown and their enthusiasm to organise events, like the charity car wash, clearly demonstrates this.”

For more information about the 999 Academy email louise.laing@petroc.ac.uk.