SA Country Fire Service (CFS) accepts young men and women aged between 11-18 years to be cadets. At 16 years you have a choice - you can talk with your Brigade Captain and decide if you want to remain as a cadet OR join the Senior Brigade in non-operational support OR become an operational firefighter.
Cadets do a whole stack of activities which may include:
The introduction to basic firefighting course firefighter training, pump operations, hose work, ride on the trucks, use the radios, search and rescue but it doesn't stop there.
Community activities street parades, attending local events, helping out on community projects and fundraising events.
Fun activities camps with up to 100 young people, special activities, state firefighting competitions, mini-camps, go-karting, movies the list goes on.
Other related activities maybe start your Duke of Edinburgh Award or make your training part of your SACE.
Cadets not only do firefighting training but they also get to do a whole heap of different activities.
Here are what a handful of current CFS cadets say when asked why they enjoy being cadets:
- "Using the hoses"
- "Riding on the trucks"
- "To have fun"
- "Making new friends"
- "Learning new things"
- "To have a great time".
- To do something different in your life
- To have fun getting out there 'doing stuff´
- To meet new people and make friends
- Give your time to your community - make a difference
The CFS has been running successful cadet programs for many years. Some of the current leaders within the CFS were cadets themselves and have worked their way through the organisation. The CFS Cadet Movement is about building a foundation for future membership in the CFS, but it is also about developing youth in the local community through skill and social development.
There are over 400 CFS Brigades operating across South Australia. Brigades are run entirely by volunteers and the decision to have a Cadet Program is usually made by Brigade Management. Not every Brigade in South Australia has cadets, so you may need to look further than your local Brigade for your closest program. In order to see exactly how a cadet program is run you should pop in to a Brigade with a Cadet Program and take a look.
Training times and frequency are the decision of the Cadet Leaders and differ for each Brigade cadet program - training may be weekly, fortnightly or monthly, some only run during school terms and most normally run between 1 to 2 hours. Check out these details with your closest cadet program.
Most cadet programs do not have a joining fee or any associated membership costs (although some cadet programs might charge a small fee each week to put back into cadet activities).
Cadets are provided with their uniform or PPE (personal protective equipment) made up of overalls, helmet, goggles and gloves. Some Brigades do not provide footwear for cadets. It is the responsibility of the cadet to ensure they wear the right footwear (covered in and sturdy).
Under the OHS&W Act 1986, volunteers are considered 'employees´, so when a young person signs on as a CFS cadet they are covered by legislation. In the event of injuring during a CFS approved activity they are covered by the Workers Compensation Act 1987 and can access workers compensation and rehabilitation services.
The cadets are covered by the CFS public liability insurance at all times whilst undertaking CFS approved activities.
The leaders of cadet programs are police checked in order to hold their positions; abide by the Child Protection Policy incorporating an adult leader code of conduct; receive training in working with young people and abide by the ratios of 1:5 for operational training - 1:2 for live fire training and always have a minimum of two leaders present at training.
There are some records required of cadets: CFS membership form, Brigade application form, medical form and whenever cadets undertake 'special´ training outside of 'normal Brigade training´ they may need to fill in a special form. Parents/Caregivers are expected to sign all of these records.
The cadets might take part in special activities. There is an expectation that you might be able to offer your help from time to time in the form of supervision, paperwork, organising cadets for events, etc.
The CFS is always looking for motivated and dedicated people. If this sounds like you then when you go along to drop off your cadet(s), think about becoming a member. You might surprise yourself!
One of the current cadet leaders joined the CFS two years ago - a mother of 6 children, cadet leader, brigade firefighter ... why not give it a go?
- Go down to your local Brigade and see if they, or a Brigade nearby, has a Cadet Program,
- Phone 1300 364 587 to find out your closest Cadet Program