A team of six local youth Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteers are testing their skills against their counterparts from across the country at the Australian Fire Cadets Championships.
The next generation firefighters from Gulgong DC Rural Fire Brigade have spent two years training for the competition in Sydney this week, which features a range of events centered around firefighting and teamwork.
More than 160 fire and emergency service cadets in 26 teams - from across NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and New Zealand - will participate in life-like scenarios designed to test their skills, initiative and safety procedures.
The Championships, first held in 2007, are jointly hosted by the NSW RFS and Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA).
The Hon Scott Farlow MLC said the event showcases the exceptional technical skills, enthusiasm, teamwork and leadership of young firefighters.
"The cadets can expect a busy few days of competition, dealing with a number of scenarios where they'll need to use their ability, leadership, initiative and teamwork to respond in the best possible way," Mr Farlow said.
"It's a credit to these young people that they are taking on the responsibility involved in the cadet program and aspiring to be volunteer firefighters or emergency service volunteers, whilst also having a good time along the way."
Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM said the NSW RFS values the development of young people, demonstrated in the commitment to hosting the Championships in NSW since the inaugural event and the ongoing support of the NSW RFS cadet program.
Since its inception, the NSW RFS cadet program has seen more than 10,200 student's complete more than 665 programs across the State.
"The cadet program not only helps students learn essential fire safety techniques, examine fire behaviour and gain an understanding of the work of NSW RFS volunteers across the State, but it offers them the opportunity to experience firsthand the commitment and camaraderie that comes with volunteering," Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
"I would like to once again thank the RFSA for the ongoing and continued support of this initiative.
"The Service is proud to pass on the ideals of community service, dedication and teamwork to the next generation and we wish them well over the coming days of competition."