Launch of new Emergency Services academy

Emergency Services Course launch at College of West Anglia.
Emergency Services Course launch at College of West Anglia.

Police and fire officers are supporting a new college academy which has been launched to give students a real insight into the “blue light” emergency services.

It is being run by the College of West Anglia in King’s Lynn, adding to the unformed and public service course it already runs for the Army, Navy and RAF.

On Thursday at which the fire service and Police went out of their way to explain why they backed the college initiative, which will see the new course begin in September as a result of student demand.

PC Sarah Chandler, Police beat manager for Gaywood, Fairstead and Reffley, said: “We are really pleased to hear of the opening of the Emergency Services Academy in King’s Lynn.

“It will provide a fantastic opportunity for the young people in our area to get more involved with the work of our emergency services and to gain an insight into our roles.”

And from the fire service, Steve Gerrard, Green Watch manager, said the creation of the academy would help students learn what went on a daily basis and to shape their career decision making.

While there were no full-time vacancies at present, there were opportunities to join the service’s retained crews in different parts of the community.

The launch turned out to be an exciting morning for two students Sam Oakes and Jessica Brown, who have already reached Level 3 on the uniformed services course as both the fire service and Police arranged activities especially for their benefit.

They were given the chance to use hoses, see a rescue demonstration from a smoking building and even use a Police “stinger” which is thrown across the road to puncture the tyres of some speeding vehicles who fail to stop.

Jessica, who aims to study law or sport at university and Sam, who wants to get to Sandhurst to do Army officer training to get into the parachute regiment, praised the college course they were completing, saying it was giving them a real and valuable insight into uniformed services and thought the new Emergency Services Academy would offer similar benefits.

Heading the Emergency Services Academy, which starts in September is course director Pat Kavanagh, who spent 24 years in the police force in stations across Norfolk, as well as eight years in the RAF Police.

It has stemmed from interest shown by students who have inquired about the present uniformed services courses and others who are already completing studies.

Already some 12 students have inquired about joining the academy.

The academy’s new two-year course will see students, who must be aged over 16 years of age, earn a diploma in Public Services and sufficient UCAS points to gain a university place, such as at Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge, the college’s partner.

To enrol students must have five GCSEs at Grade 3 or above, including Maths, English and a Science.

Pat said: “This is a new venture for the college and we are looking for high-level achievers who wish to progress into the blue light services.”

The college, which has a team of 13 staff in the uniformed services department, will be working closely with the Police and Fire services and students will gain a real insight into how these emergency services operate, and increase their knowledge of operations and day-to-day running, particularly through volunteering opportunities.

Application details can be gained from the college website at: