FIREFIGHTERS are widely celebrated for their commitment to saving the lives of people in their community and setting such an example for younger generations.

In an attempt to use this level of respectability for good, a town's fire service has welcomed young people from a secondary school in Llangollen to learn how to become better citizens.

Pupils from Ysgol Dinas Brân travelled to Corwen Fire Station on Friday, September 28 to take part in the ‘Phoenix Project’, a one-day course organised by North Wales Fire and Rescue Service to encourage young people to get involved in society.

The project is designed to assist in redirecting the lives of young people, particularly those that have become the victim of their own anti-social behaviour, have been bullied or experience behavioural problems at school.

Other youngsters who are encouraged to attend the course include individuals with low self- confidence, those who struggle to perform academically, those in need of vocational direction and those who have difficulty communicating with others.

At the fire station, the pupils learned how to take individual responsibility for their actions and work together to achieve the goal of putting out a fire, using fire equipment such as hoses and fire masks.

Pam Roberts, Phoenix Project coordinator, said: "The fire and rescue service has a powerful draw for young people, which gives us the opportunity to try and influence behaviour.

“The Phoenix Project offers a unique experience to build on qualities we as a service work towards, such as respect, communication and trust.

“The project has involved a blend of classroom learning where the youngsters were taught consequences of actions, then drill yard activity where we promote working together as a team, assessing risk and adhering to instructions.”

Skills learnt during the day are demonstrated at a ceremony of achievement attended by a principal officer, fire authority members, parents, guardians and staff from the school.

Ms Roberts continued: “The aim of the course is to assist the youngsters in becoming more motivated and positive about themselves, which in turn has the effect of making them better citizens.

"We are hoping that these young people will feel that they have gained something positive from the project and feel that it will be of benefit to them in the future.”