Essex County Fire and Rescue Service created the course to help the lads prepare for the pressures of everyday life beyond the football field.
Firebreak uses the disciplinary skills of a firefighter to increase self-esteem and teach youngsters how to overcome difficult and complex situations. The course concentrates on providing critical thinking skills to increase the maturity of the students to help them adapt and overcome any future challenges they might face on or off the pitch.
Young players Luke Amos, Cy Goddard, Anthony Georgiou, Shayon Harrison, Josh Onomah, Lloyd Ross, Harry Voss, Kyle Walker-Peters and Anton Walkes undertook a series of challenging tasks including using the Service’s powerful hose reels, wearing specialist breathing apparatus, climbing ladders and learning about the process involved with rescuing people trapped in buildings. The course has been specially tailored to complement the lessons they learn at the Academy which encourage them to become positive community role models. Participants are also educated in Home Fire Safety, Road Traffic Awareness and Emergency First Aid.
John McDermott, Academy Manager, said: “It is so important that our players do not live in a football bubble and we are constantly looking at ways of ensuring these young men keep their feet firmly on the ground. I'm also keen that they witness and be in the company of elite thinking people as regularly as possible. This project achieved our aims in so many ways.
“It was also important to see the experienced firefighters in conversation with our 17 to 18-year-old lads, explaining how they deal with fear and also how they deal with having witnessed trauma.
“In a very different context, our players were asked about pre-match nerves, playing in front of large crowds and dealing with their own mistakes. The advice from the firefighters and the exchange of experiences was intriguing. My thanks go out, on behalf of the staff and players, to the professionalism of all the Essex County Fire and Rescue staff.”
Donna Finch, Essex County Fire and Rescue’s Community Development and Safeguarding Manager, said: “Firefighters are excellent community role models and they work well with these talented young people.
“In 12 years of doing this job I can honestly say I have never come across such a polite, hard-working and determined group of young people. Each and every student is an excellent ambassador for the club’s Academy.
“We are delighted to be working with Tottenham Hotspur and hope it is the start of a long-standing working relationship.”
Pictured above: Cy Goddard.