A group of students from the Bognor Regis area have graduated in a blaze of glory.
The 11 youngsters became the latest to complete the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service FireBreak course held at the Bognor Regis fire station.
The intensive five-day programme saw the youngsters perform two fire drills at a special passing-out parade in front of an invited audience of proud family and friends.
Richard Poole, the youth instructor for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “All the students have been really good and they have all thoroughly enjoyed it.
“The course has allowed them to show teamwork skills, determination, commitment, motivation and passion.”
The scheme, one of a number of youth programmes run by the service, saw students from Felpham Community College, The Regis School, Westergate Community School and St Phillip Howard Catholic High School joined by pupils from Chichester High School for Girls, Cornfield School, Littlegreen School and Manhood Community College to take part in practical and classroom-based activities.
As part of the course students also achieved a British Heart Foundation HeartStart first aid qualification.
Mr Poole said: “All the students have done fantastically on the HeartStart course, they have managed to get to level three which is the highest we can offer on this type of course, which is brilliant.”
The passing-out ceremony took place on July 1 and was a chance for the youngsters aged between 12 and 14 to showcase their new skills.
Following their impressive display, chief county fire officer Max Hood, and West Sussex county councillor Glen Stevens presented students with medals and certificates.
After thanking the fire station’s staff for their hard work, Mr Hood then went on to praise the dedication and determination students had shown.
He said: “I think everyone would agree the young people have done a fantastic job.
“They have demonstrated the central skills needed to be a good firefighter.”
Westergate Community School’s key stage three manager Roger Nash was one of the many spectators impressed by the afternoon’s events.
Mr Nash said: “When students return from the FireBreak course you can really see a difference. In many cases they come back more confident and more able to work well as a team.”