11 January 2018

999 Academy logo

The 999 Academy was launched in 2011 and was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, bringing together all four emergency services (Devon & Cornwall Police, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, HM Coastguard and South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust) and a further education provider (Petroc). This joint emergency services Academy enables a programme to inspire young people to become valued and respected members of our community whilst developing the transferable skills which employers and higher education providers are looking for.

The 999 Academy remains at the forefront in delivering practical skills to young people, having branched out to Bridgwater & Taunton College in 2017. Other locations for further courses are being developed across the southwest.

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 4th 999 Academy Petroc Course at Barnstaple commences March 2018 and concludes June 2019.

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. 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 in pursuit of criminals, triaging major medical emergencies, and rescuing people from a smoke-filled room or stuck up to their armpits in mud.

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 become police officers, paramedics, or nurses and some have joined the British Army and the Royal Air Force.

Recruitment is now open! Young people wishing to apply should download an application here:


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The Trust has won a national award for a new initiative to improve patient care in local communities.

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