Page 10 - July 2017
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MASSEY SHAW EDUCATION TRUST Fire Cadet Marine Unit cast’s off!
  Fire Cadet Marine Unit cast’s off! The Massey Shaw Education Trust was pleased to host the first session of the newly founded Fire Cadet Marine Unit aboard the fireboat at the beginning of May.
The Marine Unit has been organised with support of several partner organisations, primarily the RNLI, LFB River Service, Massey Shaw (MS) Education Trust and a generous donation from the Worshipful Company’s Charitable Trust. The young people participating in the marine activities have to undertake an in-depth selection process and demonstrate that they are willing to commit to new challenges. Each of the partners will be providing knowledge on water -based skills, based on their own expertise. The MS Education Trust has developed a programme which informs the Cadets about the life
of a “floatie” on the Thames, and how the fireboat was used to fight fires and save lives during her thirty-six years of service. One of the highlights for the Cadets during our session with them was to start their rowing programme, helped by members of the Docklands Scout Project. Why you might ask would fireboat crew need to be able to row? Well in the early days when the Insurance Companies started to provide a fledgling fire service, fireboats were rowed to incidents by Watermen and Lightermen and Firemen. The floaties as they were called, rowed the floating barges and their Manual Pumps to fires and then rowed the hoses ashore to provide land-based crew with water. This practice continued for many years, even when the fireboats had their own mechanical propulsion and would have been an integral part of Massey Shaw’s firefighting capability.
In more recent times, fireboat crews showed their prowess by participating in The Fishmongers Cup Competition, rowing against crews from the Port of London Authority (PLA) and River Police. Unfortunately, this Competition is no longer undertaken, but we hope that the Fire Cadets can show their skills by participating in the annual Great River(GR) Race which takes place each September. The GR Race started in 1988, and last year over 300 rowing craft took part in the 21.6 mile course from Millwall Dock (London Docklands) to Ham in Surrey. We hope that the Marine Fire Cadets will be able to take part in next year’s race and provide an opportunity to raise funds for the Worshipful Company’s Charitable Trust.
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David Rogers
CEO Massey Shaw Education Trust

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