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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to Provide Action for Blind and Partially Sighted People

07/12/2011

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Action for Blind People (Action) are teaming-up to help vulnerable residents with sight loss to access services and support. The county-wide partnership will be launched at Tamworth Community Fire Station on 07 December 2011.

"Most domestic fires could be prevented. Likewise, in many cases, the isolation that sight loss brings can be avoided if people know where to turn for help."

Dave Steele, Risk Reduction Manager

With many blazes in the home started accidentally, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is taking action, bringing eye-screenings into living rooms as part of its fire prevention programme.

They will use a portable eye-screening test, provided by Action, which includes information about the importance of regular visits to opticians.

Officers will be visiting the homes of hundreds of elderly and vulnerable people over the next year. Anyone diagnosed with sight loss will be directed to Action for Blind People’s Staffordshire teams, based in Stoke and Stafford. The charity provides a range of services and support including advice on welfare payments, employment guidance, training in assistive technology and general support for living independently. 

Michele Manville, Operations Manager at Action for Blind People said: "We’re extremely grateful to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service for their support.

"This really is about saving lives and reaching residents who may be isolated in their own homes. People losing their sight often lose their confidence to get out and about independently. This reduces the chances of them getting the support they need. Thanks to the scheme, they will now be put in contact with Action’s local teams, who play such as important role in helping people with sight loss to re-gain their confidence and independence."

Dave Steele, Risk Reduction Manager for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Most domestic fires could be prevented. Likewise, in many cases, the isolation that sight loss brings can be avoided if people know where to turn for help. It clearly makes sense to combine messages about fire prevention with information about Action’s services for our communities."

Further information about Action for Blind People in Staffordshire is available by phoning 01782 215755 or by emailing Michele.manville@actionforblindpeople.org.uk