Celebrations took part at Northampton’s Guildhall to mark the official launch of a new emergency scheme.
The Northamptonshire Emergency Services Cadets (NESC), which merges the existing police and fire cadet units, is believed to be the first of its kind in the country to set itself up as an independent charity.
VIPs and invited guests from local councils and organisations including Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service and the East Midlands Ambulance Service attended the launch, which was held in the Grand Hall.
NESC is a programme aimed at 13 to 18-year-olds, which strives to give young people the opportunity to learn new skills and take an active role in supporting the work of police, fire and ambulance staff.
More than 200 young people, within eight units across the county, are now members of NESC; learning skills as diverse as first aid and basic firefighting techniques.
Becoming a cadet involves a variety of activities, including taking on roles as part of disaster training operations with the emergency services; attending community events such as fun days, road safety events, the balloon festival, Silverstone Circuit events and open days.
NESC chief executive Ann-Marie Lawson said: “We are thrilled to have finally launched the NESC programme, which is already proving a popular choice for the young people of Northamptonshire.
“Young people who join the scheme are usually impressed with how action-packed the programme of activities is.
“It’s great for all those who are interested in an eventual career in the emergency services, or for those who simply want to take up an activity that will both build their confidence and CV, as well as giving them a chance to make new friends.”
Find out more about the NESC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org