Vithushan Jeyaratnam Markham Fire Cadet grad

Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Fire Chief, Dave Decker, with Vithushan Jeyaratnam.

Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Fire Chief, Dave Decker, with Vithushan Jeyaratnam.

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Cadets were joined by family, teachers and classmates as they graduated from the Markham Fire Emergency Services Cadet Program.

Designed to as a program for teens with special needs, providing them with valuablejob-related skills and great memories.

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Graduates with Mayor and Fire Chief.

Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Fire Chief, Dave Decker, Deputy Fire Chief, Adam Grant and Deputy Fire Chief, Matthew Keay presented plaques to graduates Joshua Fraser, Daniel Abbate and Vithushan Jeyaratnam.

The 2019 grads attended the program through2019 – 2020 (due to delays due to job action). The program ran 1 day per week, every Wednesday over the school year.

“Students experienced MFES roles such asFire Prevention, Public Education, Training, Fire Dispatch and Fire Suppression. Through this, they were exposed to skills such asaccountability, punctuality, professionalism, teamwork, presentation skills/public speaking,” according to a news release by City of Markham.

Cadet Program for Teens with Special Needs

Markham Fire & Emergency Services (MFES) started the first Cadet Program in Ontario for students with special needs.This program allows participants who would not be able to be hired by the fire department to experience all aspects of the work they do.

The Cadets spend 10 weeks during the school year learning all roles within the fire service. They are exposed to valuable job-related skills and information such as the reporting structure, professionalism, public speaking, teamwork and punctuality. These skills will be transferable to any other career path they may choose.

The intent of the program is not to focus on the fire service and how to put out a fire, but to instead focus on the soft skills associated with a work placement.

The program was designed to provide an experience that would be beneficial to each Cadet for the rest of their lives. – Courtesy Markham’s Accessibility Report