About us

The 999 Academy is a youth development programme and is open to all young people aged 16 -19 years, regardless of their career ambitions or capabilities. During the course, students develop skills and confidence that will be of benefit to communities and employers and helps them make career choices in the future. This course inspires students to create safer communities by engaging in social action projects, understanding the work of the Emergency Services and learning lifesaving skills.

The 999 Academy was established in 2011 in Barnstaple, North Devon, by local staff within Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service (DSFRS), South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), Devon & Cornwall Police (DCP), HM Coastguard and Petroc College of Further & Higher Education.

Mission Statement
To be the leading joint service academy inspiring young people to become valued and respected members of our community.

Our Values
To provide knowledge and skills for individuals by raising aspirations and promoting a positive image and using the following core values:

  • Respect
  • Inclusion
  • Education
  • Safety
  • Community

Our programme

The course is an extra-curricular activity delivered by volunteers from the emergency services and college, with sessions typically taking place during term time for 2 ½ hours each week.

The 999 Academy programme has a challenging and exciting syllabus that incorporates learning elements from all the emergency services. In addition to theory based classroom sessions, students put some of their theory into practice, culminating in a scenario day at the end of the course incorporating all aspects of what they have learnt.

Activities include a residential trip which is generally a 2/3 night stay over at an activity centre, the location of which places the students within reach of HQ centres of the emergency services, allowing educational visits to take place.

Between visits, students take part in activities such orienteering, missing person searches, casualty evacuation and basic life support.

A social action programme where 999 Academy students perform at least 30 hours of community engagement within the local area.

A practical Road Traffic Collision scenario where students take the part of operational staff and demonstrate skills and abilities to deal with a staged collision between two cars.

For more information about our programme please click the links below:

The Syllabus

Our Partners

The 999 Academy is a unique programme of collaboration between the police, fire & rescue and ambulance services, together with education providers.

News and Events

2020 Course Residential

News: 23 Feb 2020

For the first time two 999 Academy programmes joined together to deliver the residential experience for students and leaders. The residential is […]

Student Recruitment for Barnstaple open until 6th November 2019

News: 30 Oct 2019

The 5th 999 Academy Petroc Course at Barnstaple commences January 2020 and concludes June 2021 Recruitment is open and the […]

Emergency Services Show 2019

News: 15 Sep 2019

We’ll be at this years Emergency Services Show at the NEC, Birmingham. Please do come and find out what we’ve […]

What people say about us

“I believe the 999 Academy has been one of the most significant initiatives aimed specifically at young people in the […]

Ken Wenman, Chief Executive, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

“I have been an avid supporter of the Bridgwater and Taunton College 999 Academy since its inception.  The programme of […]

Sue Mountstevens, Policing & Crime Commissioner, Avon & Somerset Police

“I am proud to say that I have been involved with the 999 Academy since its conceptual beginning in North […]

Peter Bond, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service


Take a look at a selection of our photographs and video galleries to see what we’ve been up to.