999 Academy Recruiting Teenage Life Savers

The 999 Academy are currently seeking out new recruits with nerves of steel who could handle the kind of pressure the emergency services deal with on a daily basis like a road traffic accident or a major trauma situation.

999 Academy Lead for South Western Ambulance Service, Rob Horton, says;

“This is a unique course that combines three emergency services with Devon & Cornwall Police, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service and South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust all under one roof at Petroc College, Barnstaple. 

We wanted to create a balance between education and practical experiences with the students leaving the Academy with some certificated skills but also with the ability to sit in front of an interviewing panel and blow them away with tales of leading teams, triaging major medical emergencies, and rescuing people from a smoke-filled room or stuck up to their armpits in mud.

Previous courses have seen several young people train as full time Paramedics, Police Officers, Nurses and Defence Medics and this is wonderful to see the future heroes coming through into the emergency blue light professions, but equally important is the sense of public service and the satisfaction they can get from volunteering within the community.”

This joint emergency services 999 Academy programme is set up to inspire young people to become valued and respected members of our community whilst developing the transferrable skills which employers and higher education providers are looking for. The course is an extra-curricular activity delivered in the evenings.

The 999 Academy remains at the forefront in delivering practical skills to young people, having branched out to Bridgwater & Taunton College in 2017, and a summer programme in Cornwall in 2019, with other locations for further courses being developed.

The mission statement of the 999 Academy is:

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

The 5th 999 Academy Petroc Course at Barnstaple commences January 2020 and concludes June 2021.

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

In addition to their Academy syllabus the students have also undertaken community engagement activities such as marshalling cycling events, attending county shows, carrying out neighbourhood patrols and giving internet safety talks to community college students, have undertaken crime prevention patrols, road traffic reduction presentations, and some have completed Community First Responder training.

The feedback we have received from our students and from their families has been incredibly positive and encouraging. Parents that have told us that they have seen their sons and daughters develop in confidence and maturity through their time with the Academy. Some students have gone on to take up other volunteering roles within the local community.

As one student said, “I am put outside my comfort zone every time I come to an Academy session…it’s great!”


Recruitment is now open from 15 to 29 October. Young people wishing to apply should download an application form.

To find out more about the 999 Academy, visit www.999academy.co.uk




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