Ten students from Penryn College “passed out” at Falmouth Fire Station after completing the five day Phoenix Project course which saw them challenge themselves and each other.

During the ceremony, held in front of family, friends and Penryn mayor, Mark Snowdon, the group showcased the firefighting techniques they had learned during the previous five days, which include hose running, getting to grips with breathing apparatus and rescuing casualties from a “burning” car and “smike-filled” building.

The Phoenix Project, which is supported by ESF funding through the Learning Partnership, has been run by the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service since 2002 and enhances young people’s self-confidence, communication skills and community spirit.

Dave Pilling, Phoenix Project manager said: “Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service commits itself to developing skills for every child and these young people from Penryn College have shown great enthusiasm participating in all aspects of the programme.

“We continue to use the Phoenix Project to invest in young people across Cornwall. The fire service is able to use its reputation and position of authority and respect within the community to hone young people’s team work, communication and leadership skills. The students from Penryn College have worked extremely hard to succeed and gain their ASDAN certificate for improving their own learning and performance.”

The Phoenix Project is a Cornwall wide initiative geared towards students between the ages of 13 and 17. To gain their certificates the students are given training in hose running, marching, wearing breathing apparatus (BA), life skills and problem solving with the aim of building confidence and self-esteem, raise aspirations and improve teamwork and communication skills.

“It’s great to see yet more young people learn not only how to become better communicators and leaders but to learn a very important fire safety message at the same time,” said CFRS chief fire officer, Paul Walker. “Initiatives such as Phoenix help us to achieve safer communities from the ground up, which is the principal aim of the service.”

Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities Geoff Brown added: “The Phoenix Project has been extremely successful in helping young people from many areas and backgrounds. Once again it’s great to see how our fire service can help these young people learn how to become better communicators and leaders as they grow in confidence.”