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Our Cadet Firefighter Programme is open to people from a variety of backgrounds. After several years of working as a chef, Liam who is 20 years old and from Liverpool, decided it was time for a career change whilst he was on LJLA's Traineeship Programme.

How did you find out about LJLA’s Cadet Firefighting Programme?

I wanted a career change; I worked as a chef at the time and was looking for a job that would challenge me every day. I saw an advert for LJLA and Employability Solutions Traineeship Programme and saw this as my chance to try something new.

The traineeship was a fantastic opportunity; it wasn’t just about new skills, it was also about meeting new people and learning more about an industry that was new to me.

As part of the programme I got to spend six weeks working with LJLA’s RFFS. Whilst I was on station shadowing the crews I knew that this was the job I wanted to do. So, as soon as I saw that the Cadet Firefighter Programme was open for applications, I applied!

How did you prepare for your interview?

I did my research about what was involved in the role and a part from being fit enough to carry out your day to day duties I think this is really important.

Most people think the main part of the job is putting out fires, but there’s so much more to it than that. I’ve gained first aid skills, learnt how to deal with road traffic collision incidents, how to identify hazardous substances and the correct way to handle them, as well as how to belay ropes to help in search and rescue situations.

What were your first few weeks as a Cadet Firefighter like?

The first few weeks of training were great. Me, Dan and Mark went straight into the training with lots of hands on exercises, which is a great way to learn. Although I really enjoy the firefighting aspect of the role, it is hard to pin down what I like the most. From learning about different types of fire behaviours such as flash-overs and back-drafts to spotting signs and symptoms of varying first aid situations, there’s a lot to learn but it’s all important and the fantastic mentors we had made things easier to remember. Plus, everyone on station was really supportive to help all us Cadets get through our practicals together.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying?

As you will become a member of a Watch it is really important that you are a team player as we all look out for and support each other as our role and workplace can affect each other’s safety.If you are looking for a challenging role that is active then this is definitely for you. For me, this has been a life-changing opportunity and I can honestly say I have enjoyed every minute of it!

Applications for 2018’s Cadet Firefighter Programme have now closed. Good luck to all who applied!