Youngsters in Tottenham have been taking part in the London Fire Brigade’s flagship Local Intervention Fire Education (LIFE) youth programme.
Originally set up in Tower Hamlets in 2002, the scheme is designed to improve discipline, confidence and team building skills and is targeted at young people aged between 13 and 17 who are failing in mainstream education.
Activities include learning to use ladders, breathing apparatus and developing casualty rescue techniques.
The Brigade says 5,000 young Londoners have benefited from the programme since it was established.
Last month London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) Chair Brian Coleman claimed Mayor Boris Johnson had failed to provide any direct funding for the scheme.
Instead the Brigade provided an additional £1 million for the current year and is also looking for external funding.
Cllr Susan Hall, Chairman LFEPA’s Community Safety Committee, said: “The recent riots hit Tottenham extremely hard. By working with young people in the area, the London Fire Brigade hopes to gain their respect and show what it really takes to be a firefighter.
“We know that by encouraging discipline and hard work in young people, the LIFE programme can really change their lives.
“Our youth engagement work makes a real difference to the lives of young people in the capital. London has one of the lowest rates of attacks on firefighters in the country and LIFE has played a major part in driving down this figure.”