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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

getting to know us

Our Getting To Know Us Inside Out campaign is about informing everybody that we do so much more than you might expect. Get to know us inside out.

Helping Hands

To achieve our vision of making Staffordshire the safest place to be we work with a range of different organisations that bring their support and specialist skills to the work we do. Here are some of their stories.

REVIVAL HOME IMPROVEMENT AGENCY


Revival Revival Home Improvement Agency are a not-for-profit organisation that helps vulnerable people maintain their health and independence and be warm, safe and supported in their homes. They are part of the Staffordshire Housing Group with their services supported and funded by local councils and a range of other agencies.

Revival Home Improvement Agency, carry out Home Fire Risk Checks on behalf of Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service to all of the clients referred to them for their handyman service. The Home Fire Risk Checks are completed as part of their service at no extra charge to the Service other than us providing the smoke alarms to be fitted and training and support for staff from Revival.

The partnership started in 2009. In 2014-2015 Revival carried out 489 HFRC's as part of their service and fitted 320 smoke alarms In 2015-2016 they carried out 407 HFRC's Fitting 333 smoke alarms.

Revival’s low-cost Handyman Service carries out small DIY-type jobs that make a big difference to people’s day-to-day life in their homes. Jobs include fitting shelves or curtain poles, easing doors, fitting hand rails and grab rails, and fitting smoke detectors and security measures. The service is available to people in Stoke on Trent who are over 50, or under 50 and have a disability, and costs £10 per hour plus the cost of materials.

“The majority of the homes Revival visit fall into our most vulnerable groups category. They are carrying out HFRC's in the course of their work at properties that we sometimes struggle to get into. This has proved to be a very successful partnership in helping protect vulnerable people from fire related incidents in their own home”.

Donna Broadhead – Prevention Manager

“The fire service plays a pivotal role in the success of the handyman service. The support we have from them means that we can successfully carry out integrated checks in our customers’ homes and working well together has enabled us to keep people safe and well in their homes.”

Adrian Milward, Revival Senior Handyman

CAROL BATTERSBY AND THE CO-OP FOOD STORE


Carol Battersby Carol is store manager of a local co-operative store. She has been a helping hand to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service on a number of occasions, spreading our safety messages and supporting safety campaigns.

On 1 October 2015 we held a Community Safety Day event at Grosvenor Centre in Gnossall. This was one of many events taking place across the county on that day.

Carol and her team not only helped to promote the event but provided plentiful refreshments for staff and visitors throughout the day. As part of the event we organised a ‘Well-being mile’ walk and Carol persuaded all of her staff to take part.

Because of the support she had given, we invited Carol to organise a showcase session at our "Contribution Women Make to a Safer Staffordshire" conference last November. Carol has also been short-listed for a Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service MORE Award for her efforts – the winners will be announced at the end of June.

Although Carol has recently moved to a different store she is still working closely with our Prevention Team in the west of the county. Carol offers support by providing a venue, vouchers to support various activities along with refreshments for community events She help with organising  staff and  volunteering herself both on and off duty to support our vision of "Making Staffordshire the Safety Place to Be"

PARTNERSHIP DELIVERS HARD HITTNG ROAD SAFETY MESSAGES


Royal Stoke Hospital There are times when collaboration just makes sense. A great example of this is how our Prevent Team in the north of the county has been working with the Royal Stoke Hospital to reduce major trauma.

Reducing deaths and disabilities through road traffic collisions, particularly in the 15-24 age group, is essential for both organisations. Major Trauma Coordinators at the Royal Stoke Hospital, Mandie Burston and Simon Davies, have joined forces with  our Prevent Team to target students in schools and colleges with a hard-hitting explanation of what the four most common factors causing death and life changing injuries whilst driving. These are known as the Fatal Four - mobile phones and distractions; speeding; seatbelts and drink and drugs. The main message being given is that one inappropriate decision can cost lives.

VF4 car Students listen to talks from both teams and have an experience in our Ford Focus VF4 concept car/simulator before watching firefighters demonstrate how we extricate a casualty from a vehicle using hydraulic tools to remove doors and the roof. Students that have taken part in the experience have called it was ‘intense’ and ‘awesome’ and agree that it is the right message for them.

“This is a fantastic partnership. All agencies have a part to play in reducing major trauma and death in young people. This is about changing mindsets”.

Simon Davies

MULTI-AGENCY APPROACH HELPS PEOPLE OVERCOME PROBLEMS


Cooperative working Cooperative Working is an innovative programme which supports people to live independent lives and where the support is tailored to meet an individual’s specific needs.

The programme is a partnership between Stoke-on-Trent City Council and organisations including Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Staffordshire Police, health services and the voluntary sector.

Cooperative Working provides tailored support to meet individuals’ needs by bringing services together rather than working in isolation. As well as giving people the right support more quickly, it is saving taxpayers’ money by making the work between organisations more efficient.

This unique approach is transforming lives, unlocking significant shared benefits for public sector partners and driving transformation across local services. It has had a positive and sometimes, life-changing, effect on members of the community.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council was awarded a £4.9m grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government to help progress the programme.

The official launch of Cooperative Working took place at the King’s Hall, in Stoke in March. At the event, representatives from partner agencies across Stoke-on-Trent were told about this new way of working and the impact it has been having on people’s lives. A memorandum of understanding was then signed by members of the Working Together For Our Stoke Communities Board

For more information about Cooperative Working visit www.stoke.gov.uk/cooperativeworking.

How to access advice and services:

  • For early help, information, advice and support for individuals and families: contact Cooperative Working - CW@stoke.gov.uk or phone 01782 232200
  • If a child or young person is at risk of significant harm: contact the Safeguarding Referral Team - SRT@stoke.gcsx.gov.uk or phone 01782 235100
  • If a person is in immediate danger: call emergency services - 999.

WORKING WITH AGE UK TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFER


We have long understood the importance of prevention work and the need to keep people safe within their own homes. Last winter we a pilot project aimed at keeping more people safe and well in their homes.

SAfER (Sustained Action for Evidencing Risk Reduction) was a partnership with Age UK supported by the Chief Fire Officers Association. It was an innovative partnership arrangement bringing together front-line support services that could cost effectively increase the preventative support. This work was aimed at reducing the pressures on the NHS and partners through early identification and prevention.

Staff from our Community Fire Stations at Tamworth Mercia, Stafford, Longton, Codsall, Kinver and Wombourne were involved in the SAfER pilot and had carried out Safe and Well visits in over 2,500 homes.

SAfER targeted the households most at risk from fire in our communities. Our teams carried out Home Fire Risk Checks but also had additional training to carry out an assessment to determine the occupiers’ risk of social isolation, cold homes, falls, debt, alcohol, smoking and various other health and wellbeing issues. If we believed the occupiers could benefit from additional support with contacted AgeUK.

The SAfER project ran throughout the winter of 2015-16 and we are now evaluating its impact to help us plan for the future.

“We know that simple interventions and relevant signposting can make a lot of difference to the quality of older people’s lives. Accurate identification and targeting by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service means that resources can be directed to those most in need and using our well-developed knowledge of the market and local partnerships we can facilitate support services to improve well-being that can really change lives.”

Nick Maslen - Chief Executive of Age UK South Staffordshire

BUILDING FUTURE PARTNERSHIPS IN OUR COMMUNITY FIRE STATIONS


Biddulph community fire station We have 33 Community Fire Stations spread across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. They aren’t just a home for our fire fighters, their emergency response vehicles and our local prevention teams. We share our facilities with different partners who want to work with us on different initiatives and who want to get closer to their local communities.

A great example of how we are developing our resources can be found in Biddulph.

Last November we released plans for a new £1.175 million joint fire, ambulance and community facility. Local residents were invited to attend drop-in sessions at the community fire station to view the new plans.

A Government grant is funding the initiative. It was one of 37 awarded through the Fire Transformation Fund last October.

A building next to the existing station has been demolished to make way for the extended facility. It is hoped that building work will begin in the next few months with the new, improved station being ready by the end of 2016.

“We are always looking at ways to work more efficiently and effectively with our partners so that we can continue to provide a first class, integrated service for the benefit of our local communities. This joint facility is just another example of how we are working closely with our partners in the health service to provide a multi-agency approach to protecting the most vulnerable members of the community.”

Carl Mason - Biddulph Station Manager

PARTNERSHIP MAKES TAMWORTH A SAFETY TOWN


In April, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service teamed up with Staffordshire Police, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, DHL Road Safety Team, Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership, Tamworth Borough Council Street Wardens, TAME First Responders and INTO Bike Bus to host ‘Safety Town ‘ at Tamworth Community Fire Station.

More than 750 Year 5 pupils aged nine and ten, from across the Tamworth area  attended to learn about the perils of playing with fire and the consequences of crime.

Firefighters and volunteers demonstrated the importance of having smoke alarms and highlighted the dangers of deliberately starting blazes as well as giving advice on how to plan an escape route should a fire break out in their home.

 “Safety Town is a great example of agencies working well together. The initiative has proved extremely successful in previous years and the children gained a real insight into a range of issues including fire, road safety and crime. The aim of the scheme is to provide a fun and interactive education experience, allowing pupils to take away key knowledge that they can share with family and friends.

“Educating children at such a young age means that they understand the consequences early on and will be less likely to take risks when they are much older.”

Chris Jenkins - Community Safety Officer, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service

CRUCIAL CREW AT HANLEY COMMUNITY FIRE STATION


We ran a similar event to SafetyTown at Hanley Community Fire Station last September called ‘Crucial Crew’. Hundreds of year six pupils were given the opportunity to learn basic lifesaving skills, discuss anti-social behaviour, the dangers of deliberately starting grass fires, home safety and internet safety alongside learning about the consequences of drug and alcohol addiction.

Crucial Crew is funded by Safer City Partnership and sees Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Stoke on Trent City Council, West Midlands Ambulance Service and the Young People’s Drug Project working together.

“These events allow pupils to step outside the classroom to learn some really important life lessons. The workshops inform them about the potential consequences of anti-social behaviour such as deliberately starting a grass fire and making hoax 999 calls.  Activities such as these divert resources away from the frontline and from potentially life-threatening incidents.  Educating children early on to the dangers is key to driving home the message and can have a positive influence on their future behaviour.”

Donna Broadhead, Prevention Manager, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service