The Residential should take place when the students are available, such as the nearest half term break at the start of the course.
For individual and group benefit, this element should be viewed as compulsory for students and is an essential part of the programme. The aim of the residential is to take students out of a familiar environment and allow them time to get to know each other and the staff (and vice versa).
The trip is generally 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. For example, in Devon, 999 Academy students visit Police HQ in Exeter, where they see the Control Room, and Firearms Training Centre. Visits are also made to the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) of the ambulance service and the Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) of the fire service.
During the residential, students are put into syndicates and are given the responsibility, under supervision, to cook and clean for all those at the centre for the day. Yes, when it is their turn, they have to get up very early to cook breakfast, pre-prepare lunch, cook lunch, and cook the evening meal and none of it involves anything that comes in a plastic container that can only be microwaved!
Between visits, students take part in activities such orienteering, missing person searches, casualty evacuation and basic life support.
Staff encourage the students to engage in reflective practice throughout the week, with each evening ending with “Circle Time”, where everyone present sits in a circle and are required to answer questions about, for example, what they have learned during the day, or what was most challenging for them. A course favourite for both students and staff!
To ensure inclusivity, the Residential should be free of charge for all, and as the students are too busy with visits, challenges and cooking, they don’t have the time nor the opportunity to spend money!
Because the Residential should be compulsory, the date of the trip is published when a new 999 Academy course is advertised, and information about it is on the application form. It is an opportunity for bonding, and to make those important visits which give a great deal of context to the rest of the course. We advise that if candidates know you cannot attend the Residential, then an application to the 999 Academy is likely to fail unless the Equal Opportunities Act 2010 applies.
Embedded with the programme is a social action programme. 999 Academy students should be coached to perform at least 30 hours of community engagement within the local area, during their time on the course.
- Foot patrols with Neighbourhood Policing Teams
- Community Speedwatch
- Neighbourhood Watch leaflet drops
- Beach/Street Cleans
- Community Safety Events at local fetes and fairs
- Supporting Emergency Aid awareness events
- Marshalling cycle/running races
- Road Safety Campaign leaflet/poster drops
- Visiting and befriending those in Care Homes
- Charity Car Washes
By getting out into the community, the 999 Academy students will experience what it feels like to be in a uniformed service, helping others. The delivery of public service is not limited to that of statutory bodies; there is a large volunteering network the students will be exposed to and this experience may lead individuals into the voluntary sector later on in life.
Road Traffic Collision Scenario
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. Includes the assessment, treatment and evacuation of casualties, arresting of offenders, and the rescue of trapped casualties.