They started as high school students and graduated as Rural Fire Service cadets.
Year 9 and 10 students from Wollondilly Anglican College participated in a 10-week extra-circular training course.
On Thursday, September 23, 16 students gave the school a practical demonstration of their skills and had a graduation ceremony.
Anastacia Atkins, 15, said the students gave other students a demonstration on how to extinguish a fire using a portable pump.
“Everyone passed with flying colours and we all received a certificate,” she said.
“It was nice to show off our skills and what we had learnt and the other students were encouraging and supportive.”
The school’s director of pastoral care Liam Toland said some of the students were already involved in RFS brigades outside of school and others were excited to start a cadet program at their local unit.
“The students enjoyed the experience. Becoming a cadet outside of school is the next natural progression,” he said.
“The school also wants to take a team of students to the school state championships next year.”
Throughout the course students learnt practical skills, first aid and did theory work including learning about the different types of fires and how a fire behaves.
“Week to week we did theory and practical work,” Anastacia said.
“I chose the course because I wanted to be able to serve my community and I enjoyed learning new skills and strategies.
“My favourite part about the course was that we got to communicate with the other students, learn different skills and work collaboratively.
“I have made great friends from the program. We are all close and if one of us was in trouble then we would help each other out.”
Anastacia has been an RFS cadet at the Yanderra brigade for more than a year.
She said she was looking forward to turning 16 because then she would finish her cadet training and would become a full brigade firefighter.
“The training at school will help me perform better on the ground when I go out to fight a fire because I know more about fires,” Anastacia said.
“The training at school and at the Yanderra brigade was similar and I am ready to take the next step to become a firefighter.”