Join the fire cadets

Join the fire cadets

Fire cadets is a great way for you to learn skills that will help you in life.

And not only will you learn about fire safety and the role of being a firefighter, but you’ll also make new friends and grow your confidence too.

Why join the cadets?

Be like a firefighter

Being a fire cadet is the closest you’ll get to becoming a firefighter before you’re old enough to apply. From doing drills to climbing ladders and shimmying through tunnels, you’ll do lots of practical exercises that real firefighters do. You’ll also learn about fire safety and prevention too.

Build bonds

Our cadets are a tight-knit team. As well as making new friends, you’ll play a key part in your local community by attending various events, including remembrance services, and participating in social actions to support others in your community, even visiting care homes – to name a few!

Learn new skills

From picking up practical lifesaving skills like first-aid to building your teamwork and leadership abilities, you’ll gain so many skills that you can take with you through life.

Gain a qualification (if you want to)

As a nationally recognised programme, joining the cadets is a great way to impress universities and prospective employers in the future. While doing your cadet activities, you can achieve:

  • BTEC Level 2 Award in Fire and Rescue Services in the Community
  • BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Fire and Rescue Services in the Community
  • BTEC Level 2 Teamwork and Personal Development in the Community.

What you need to know

Our fire cadet units run at Bovey Tracey, Plymouth and Wincanton Fire Stations.

  • They are open to anyone between the ages of 13-17 years old.
  • You’ll be given your own uniform and full PPE (personal protective equipment) for practical drills.
  • Typically, a cadet unit is made up of between eight and twelve cadets.
  • During term time, you’ll meet for two hours each week at one of the stations. This is usually on a weekday evening.
  • Our cadets will never work around fire. All experiential learning is carried out in a safe environment with our qualified instructors, many of which are firefighters too.
  • All of our leaders have an enhanced DBS check and have undergone mental health training so they can support cadets with any difficulties they may have.
  • We work closely with National Fire Chiefs Council - National Fire Cadet Board and other fire services around the country – you could even join in some of their sessions!

Common questions

Will joining the cadets help me become a firefighter?


Absolutely! Many of our cadets have gone on to become on-call and wholetime firefighters. All the skills you learn in cadets are transferable to lots of different roles, helping you with whatever you want to do in the future.

I have a disability, can I still join cadets?


Of course! Anyone is welcome to join cadets. Just let us know on your application form about any additional needs you might have so we can accommodate you and support you throughout your time with us.

Do I have to commit a certain amount of time to cadets?


No. You can join and leave whenever you want. But we’re convinced that if you join, you won’t want to leave and if you’d like to complete a BTEC, we recommend staying for at least eight months.

What happens when I'm too old for cadets?


Although the scheme is only open to those between the ages of 13 and 17 years old, there may even be opportunities to continue your cadet journey as a Cadet Leader. 

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