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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Vulnerable Adults Become Fire Stars

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has launched an interactive fire safety training package designed to support and protect people with learning difficulties.

In its previous guise as PRIDE, the initiative enjoyed success in both Stoke and Lichfield. It has now been improved, updated and renamed Fire Stars.

"We ask people taking part in the training to pass on the knowledge they’ve learned to friends and family."

Donna Broadhead, Watch Manager, Hanley Fire Station

This is due to a training exercise in which participants are placed in a simulated home environment and asked to put adhesive stars on fire hazards they identify.

Donna Broadhead, Watch Manager at Hanley Fire Station, said the project is helping to educate vulnerable members of the community on matters of fire safety and prevention in the home.

Having already been delivered to residents at Lovatt Court and people attending Riverside Training Employment Centre, Fire Stars will visit Rising Stars Youth Group and Shelton Day Centre in the New Year.

"It is very pictorial, showing lots of simple images which are easy to understand and help get the message across regarding fire safety," said Donna.

"So far our prime target has been young people with learning difficulties who are living semi-independently in sheltered accommodation.

"From January we aim to roll this out once a month and will be looking to target older people with the same messages."

The main focus of Fire Stars, a power point presentation, is to illustrate the main causes of fire in the home and generate discussion around risk reduction.

"We simulate a home environment and ask people to work in groups to identify potential fire risks," adds Donna.

"Talks then concentrate on the importance and impact of smoke alarms, night time routines and escape plans before a second exercise gives people the chance to put their understanding into practice.

"We ask people taking part in the training to pass on the knowledge they’ve learned to friends and family. In doing so they become Fire Stars and are presented with certificates."

Groups or organisations interested in receiving Fire Stars training should contact Donna Broadhead at Hanley Fire Station on 01785 898904.