Special visit inspires young Scout to become police officer
The Mount Archer Scouts Group had some exciting visitors this week as Rockhampton police officers and fire crews visited for a talk and demonstration.
The group, which has around 70 youth members, is working towards its SES badge which is all about understanding the SES and its involvement in the community.
They invited the emergency services along to share with the boys and girls what they did.
“We try to have as many nights as we can combined with emergency services,” Scout leader “Dingo” Nathan Johnson said.
“It’s really good, especially not just for us as leaders, it gives them someone to look up to, if there is an emergency, they know they are going to get looked after and they can actually meet the people that may turn up in case an emergency occurs.
“We do get out and about and we do work with all the services to give the kids a good understanding of what is happening and the emergency services’ involvement in the community.”
Nine-year-old Lilly Russell enjoyed the night so much she has been inspired to be a police officer when she grows up.
“I do really, really want to be a police officer,” she said.
“I like how they save people and they go on a mission to find out crime.”
Lilly said she learnt about how the firefighters saved people in the fires and floods, and most importantly to not go near “flooded creeks”.
“And we learnt about what goes in the fire trucks,” she said.
“The police officers told us the stuff they do, they told us what the sniffer dogs do and the types of different dogs.”
Scouts is Lilly’s favourite day of the week.
“I like playing and I like going on camps, we learn how to survive out in the wild and we learn about our health,” she said.
Patrol leader Cameron Cavanagh, 10, recorded the talks for his YouTube channel and enjoyed listening to the police demonstration.
“We listened to a police officer whose job is to gather evidence,” he said.
“So that in court if they are guilty of innocent, they can figure it out by the evidence, their fingerprints, handprints, evidence in their residence.”
Lilly Keep learnt about fire and safety rescues and what the police dog did.
“They have a lot of hoses on the fire truck and they have different suits for different jobs, like house fires or bushfires or flooding,” she said.
Madison Johnson said it was important to learn about the basic safety of fire, dams and floods and about what the emergency services did.
“So we can have an understanding of their purpose, what they do and things we should look out for,” she said.
Rockhampton Acting Inspector Cameron Barwick said it was a great chance to spread awareness to the children what the emergency services did.
A police scientific officer showed the children the equipment she used in analysing a scene which they all thought was very fascinating.
They also had a drug detection dog there and showed the children how the dog could find drugs or hidden items at scenes.
“The kids obviously enjoyed it, thought it was great,” he said.
“The dog was a hit, a great opportunity to communicate with the kids what we do.”
Inspector Barwick said prevention was a big part of policing and visits like this were important.
“It’s an opportunity for the kids to engage with the police and see the police in a different light,” he said.
“Making sure they are aware of what police do, the functions we perform in the community and aware about our job.
“This is a great age for them to learn, to understand what police do and understand we are part of that community and we work together with them to address criminal activity and all of the other functions we perform as police officers.
“Learn and go home and promote that to their family and friends, how to be safe, that police aren’t scary.”
He also hopes it inspires some children to become involved with the emergency services.
“Hopefully someday they might want to join up and become a police officer,” Inspector Barwick said.
Rockhampton QFES station officer Martin Stephensen had members of his crew speak about fire and flood safety and what to do in case of an emergency.
“We spoke about fire safety, around fires, what to do, what is expected, what to do if they light one and how to protect it, what to do in a flooded situation, if it is flooded forget it,” he said.
It is important to get the message out there from young age in children.
“Our community engagement starts from grades one with visits to all of the schools and we move through all the different grades and ages,” Mr Stephensen said.
“Fire safety and what to do in emergency, especially in Queensland we all know it’s a very emergency prone state, we all need to know what to do and how to deal with it.”
It’s also fun for the officers to show off the equipment and see the children get excited.
“Some of the crew enjoy it a bit more than others, as you can hear they really get a buzz out of it children and imparting their knowledge,” Mr Stephensen said.
This weekend the Mount Archer Scout Group will be at Fraser Park, Mount Archer for Clean Up Australia Day and next weekend it will be at Seeonee Park for a camp.
At the camp, the group will build on outdoor adventure skills.
“Bushwalking, camping, bushcraft, that helps them understand what to do when they are out in the bush,” Mr Johnson said.
“What sort of stuff to pack for a hike, how to use a compass, this time we are working with digital compasses.”
To get involved with Scouts, visit your local groups facebook pages for what night they meet and head along to a meeting.