Firefighters taught a group of young people with Down Syndrome how they are able to keep our community safe.

The group of around a dozen children and young people took part in a 'firebreak course' at Maldon Fire Station in Spital Road where they took part in a host of challenges and tasks to show them clearly what it takes to be a member of the crew.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Photo: Maldon Fire StationPhoto: Maldon Fire Station

The four day course, funded by the Worshipful Company of Firefighters was organised by the charity, Down Syndrome Extra 21, a collective of parents, carers and people with Down Syndrome, who are trying to give equal opportunities to people with the condition.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service has supported the charity for more than ten years.

A spokesman for the station said: "The children got the opportunity to get hands on and complete drills in the same way we do at the station as firefighters. 

"The drills consisted of getting a length of hose to work, alongside pitching and climbing the ladder to the first floor."

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Photo: Maldon Fire StationPhoto: Maldon Fire Station

The group of participants in the event ranged from 13 to 24-years-old.

As well as a range of practical challenges, the visitors were taught a number of life lessons and encouraged to develop their communication, self-confidence and discipline. 

The course also teaches important fire safety lessons for independent living.

At the end of the course the students then showed off what they have learned before a crowd of proud parents, guardians, friends and family.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Photo: Essex Fire and Rescue ServicePhoto: Essex Fire and Rescue Service

Terry Williams, Firebreak course instructor, said: “We have all had a great week with the students and it has been extremely rewarding for everyone involved.

“At the start of the week, the students are all quite nervous and unsure about their abilities, but throughout the four days with us we see them grow in confidence. 

"It’s great to see everyone join in, work so hard and then take so much away from the course.”