Monday, 22 January, 2018


Ever wondered what it would be like to have a rewarding job with the emergency services helping members of the public to safety or even be that person who saves a life?

The 999 Academy are currently seeking out new recruits with nerves of steel who could handle the kind of pressure the emergency services deal with on a daily basis like a road traffic accident or a major trauma situation.

999 Academy Lead Officer for South Western Ambulance Service, Ian Dawson, says; “This is a unique course that combines three emergency services with Devon & Cornwall Police, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service and South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust all under one roof at Petroc College, Barnstaple. 

We wanted to create a balance between education and practical experiences with the students leaving the Academy with some certificated skills but also with the ability to sit in front of an interviewing panel and blow them away with tales of leading teams in pursuit of criminals, triaging major medical emergencies, rescuing people from a smoke-filled room or stuck up to their armpits in mud.

From previous courses we’ve had a number go onto to train as full time paramedics, police officers, nurses and defence medics and this is wonderful to see the future heroes coming through into the emergency blue light professions.”

This joint emergency services Academy programme is set up to inspire young people to become valued and respected members of our community whilst developing the transferrable skills which employers and higher education providers are looking for on a CV. The course is part time in the evenings and can run alongside daily studies or commitments.

The 999 Academy remains at the forefront in delivering practical skills to young people, having branched out to Bridgwater & Taunton College in 2017. Other locations for further courses are being developed across the southwest.

The mission statement of the 999 Academy is:

To provide knowledge and skills for individuals by raising aspirations and promoting a positive image and using the following core values:

Respect, Inclusion, Education, Safety, Community

The 4th 999 Academy Petroc Course at Barnstaple commences March 2018 and concludes June 2019.

The Academy programme has a challenging and exciting syllabus that incorporates learning elements from all the emergency services. In addition to theory based classroom sessions, the students put some of their theory into practice, culminating in a scenario day incorporating all aspects of what they have learnt.

In addition to their Academy syllabus the students have also undertaken community engagement activities such as marshalling cycling events, attending county shows, carrying out neighbourhood patrols and giving internet safety talks to community college students, have undertaken crime prevention patrols, road traffic reduction presentations, and some have completed Community First Responder training.

The feedback we have received from our students and from their families has been incredibly positive and encouraging. Parents that have told us that they have seen their sons and daughters develop in confidence and maturity through their time with the Academy. Some students have gone on to become police officers, paramedics, or nurses and some have joined the British Army and the Royal Air Force.

Recruitment is now open! Young people wishing to apply should download an application here: https://www.petroc.ac.uk/students/academies-clubs/999-academy

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