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London Fire Brigade awards youngsters for rising to the challenge

Finalists from the London Life Challenge competition pose with trainers from London Fire Brigade’s LIFE team. London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson stands in the centre, back row.
Finalists from the competition pose with trainers from London Fire Brigade’s LIFE team

Teenagers were all graduates of Brigade's local intervention programme

Young Londoners who demonstrated their firefighting skills, fitness and commitment in a London Fire Brigade competition have had their achievements recognised.

The ten youngsters who competed in the ‘London Life Challenge' received special awards from London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson at a presentation ceremony held in their honour at London Fire Brigade HQ this week (Tuesday, 27 October).

A gruelling test of strength, speed and skill, the ‘London Life Challenge' runs alongside the London's Fittest Firefighter contest, held each year in Covent Garden in front of thousands of spectators. 

Competing against each other over the same course used by the capital's firefighters, the teenagers had to complete a series of gym based exercises before donning fire gear and breathing apparatus to carry out firefighting tasks including, rolling out hoses and climbing stairs to haul aloft a Hose Reel.

The ten competitors were all graduates of the Brigade's Local Intervention Fire Education (LIFE) programme which teaches young people firefighting skills alongside real firefighters to improve self -esteem and reduce anti-social behaviour. 


The LIFE programme gives young people the opportunity to learn firefighting skills alongside real firefighters

As well as successfully completing a LIFE course, to book their place in the London Life Challenge, the ten finalists had to beat off stiff competition from around 100 other LIFE graduates in trials held at the Brigade's training centre. The ten youngsters selected then had to complete a further six weeks of fire station based training.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: "Since it started the Brigade's LIFE scheme has made a positive difference to the lives of thousands of young people across the capital. As well as fostering a sense of social responsibility and feeling of self worth, the course helps young people understand that the choices they make will shape their lives in the future.

"These ten young people have taken that success one step further, representing their boroughs and the London Fire Brigade in front of hundreds of spectators. I am immensely proud of them. The transformation and qualities they have shown between completing their LIFE course and competing in the London Life Challenge has proved to their trainers, parents, carers, teachers, and most importantly to themselves, that there are opportunities out there for them and they have a big contribution to make."

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