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Multicultural students meet emergency services
The school-based Next Generation Program program aims to bring together emergency services personnel and young people from a CALD background to increase awareness about the emergency services.
CFA, Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police and SES partnered to deliver educational sessions to Year 10 students from Mt Hira College in Keysborough.
The program ran for a week starting on Monday 4 December with a field trip to Dandenong Fire Station to see an emergency services display. This was a great opportunity for the students to ask questions of members from each agency and to participate in various activities.
This day included viewing an assortment of emergency services vehicles and equipment, watching a car cut using Jaws of Life, dressing in riot gear and seeing customs dogs performing searches.
The classroom sessions included:
- Victoria Police - the role of police, drink driving and drugs and 000
- SES – the role of SES, flood and storm safety, volunteering and 000
- AFP – the role of AFP, cyber bullying and awareness
- CFA – home fire safety, fire blankets, volunteering and 000
Involving young people, particularly from multicultural families, in emergency services activities, increases the ability of these communities to respond during times of emergency using the knowledge they have gained.
Some of the outcomes of the program were to:
- Increase knowledge and awareness of emergency services
- Develop skills related to emergency services
- Participation in activities related to each emergency service
- Acceptance of the CALD community by the emergency agencies
- Allow emergency services to educate and assist the students to respond to and recover from an emergency
- Bridge any gaps between emergency services with people from CALD communities
- Improve the likelihood of inceasing the numbers of multicultural volunteers and staff in emergency services.
This pilot program was such a huge success that it will be expanded in 2018 by being included in the school curriculum at three secondary colleges in District 8.