MFES cadet program provides life lessons for teens

Three Markham D.H.S. students have a new appreciation for our local firefighters after completing the Markham Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) Cadet Program.

The MFES Cadet Program for teens with special needs provided Joshua Fraser, Daniel Abbate and Vithushan Jeyaratnam with fire prevention knowledge and many skills that will benefit them at future work placements.

Students experienced MFES roles such as Fire Prevention, Public Education, Training, Fire Dispatch and Fire Suppression. Through this, they were exposed to valuable job-related skills and information such as accountability, professionalism, public speaking, teamwork and punctuality. These skills will be transferable to any other career path they may choose. Rather than focus on the fire services and how to put out a fire, the program focused on soft skills associated with a work placement. The program was designed to provide an experience that would be beneficial to each cadet.

The 2019 MFES Cadet Program graduation took place on February 18 at the Markham Civic Centre.
Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Fire Chief, Dave Decker, Deputy Fire Chief, Adam Grant and Deputy Fire Chief, Matthew Keay were all in attendance for the plaque presentations. Council members were all on hand to offer their congratulations to the recent grads. The cadets were also joined by their families, teachers and classmates for their special ceremony.

“Fire prevention and education is our first line of defense, and we engage with all age groups and demographics. When emergencies happen, it’s important to know what to do. Our cadets have learned lifelong experiences that they’ll carry with them. We are very proud of their efforts,” said MFES Chief Dave Decker.

MFES would like to hold another Cadet program in the fall 2020 term.

Main photo: MFES cadets Joshua Fraser, Vithushan Jeyaratnam and Daniel Abbate.

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