Sheffield First 
Monday, June 22, 2009
Life was spiralling out of control for Sheffield teenager Anthony Tomlinson, 17.
He had been kicked out of school without any qualifications because of his disruptive behaviour. “I’d robbed from cars, been locked up and stood on corners with my hood up just like you read about,” he said.
Thanks to his own determination to change and a ground-breaking pilot scheme – ‘Urban Rangers’ – Anthony’s story today is very different.
Urban Rangers receive training in safety advice, working with the public, and other skills such as first aid. They go out ‘on patrol’ and to community events with staff such as Fire Fighters, Police Community Support Officers and City Centre Ambassadors.
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Now a role model
The scheme is the brainchild of South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s Sheffield District Manager, Richard Chandler, who said: “This scheme is not about keeping kids off the streets. It’s about them getting out there, showing people that they can play a part in building safer, stronger and even greener neighbourhoods.”
Anthony is now considered a role model for other Urban Rangers and is working towards a career in the Fire Service. He says: “Because of Urban Rangers I would never go down that road again.”
Urban Rangers is led by South Yorkshire Fire Service in partnership with Police, Sheffield City Council and Sheffield 50+, the older people’s advisory group.