With many young people across the world feeling isolated by Covid restrictions, when the Crowborough Fire Cadets were asked if they’d like to interact with a group of young adults with disabilities in New York, they jumped at the chance.
Several of the New York group are autistic and fascinated with everything to do with fire services in both England and America.
They submitted over 20 questions, which the Cadets and Cadet Leaders answered during a virtual meeting.
To give the New Yorkers a good insight into a British fire and rescue service, firefighters at Heathfield and Eastbourne stations filmed a short video giving a tour of a station and one of its fire engines, explaining how all the equipment is used. This can be seen on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8MWoW70qPU
The New York group also shared information they had learned from talking to Firefighter ‘Teddy’ from Jackson Heights, Queens in NYFD. This included the fact that the New York Fire Department has over 11,000 firefighters, 354 fire trucks and three fire boats. They also discovered that American firefighters’ protective clothes are referred to as ‘bunker gear’ due to the fact that they are stored next to their bunk or bed at the fire station.
One of the New York group’s coordinators commented: “The Cadets did a great job answering the questions; such confident responses. And what a fantastic film. The presenters are amazing. It was gripping to watch and so informative. I loved it!”
ESFRS Head of Prevention David Kemp added: “Hearing how our Fire Cadets have linked up with friends across the Atlantic to share their stories and interests is an example of the bond that exists within the fire and rescue world. As we contine to develop our fantastic Fire Cadet cadre, we very much look forward to welcoming new members.”
If you would like to learn more about East Sussex Fire Cadets, please see https://www.esfrs.org/your-safety/fire-cadets/