South Staffordshire Council and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have been celebrating after a joint project to keep local people warm and safe in winter scooped a top charity award.
Since 2008, officers from South Staffordshire Council have been training local firefighters to recognise the signs of fuel poverty as part of a project which council bosses are predicting will improve scores of lives each year.
"It's fantastic to get recognition for this initiative. Here at the fire and rescue service we aren't just about fighting fires, we're about keeping people safe in their homes."
Keith Stubbs, Area Commander, South Staffordshire
The referral scheme has seen firefighters not only giving local people advice through their own free home fire risk checks but also pointing local people towards grants and help towards making their homes more energy efficient.
The project has now been recognised as the best in the West Midlands region by fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA). It will now go on to compete against initiatives from around the country for a national award of £3,000.
The project has also been given a £2,000 boost thanks to the NEA.
Councillor Mrs Joan Williams, (Deputy Leader), for Environmental Services at South Staffordshire Council said: "This project has been hugely successful and I'm delighted that we've been picked out as the leading lights from across the whole of the West Midlands.
"We want to do as much as we can to try and keep people safe in their homes and this service is helping those vulnerable people who benefit most from a warm and safe home."
Area Commander for South Staffordshire, Keith Stubbs said: "It's fantastic to get recognition for this initiative. Here at the fire and rescue service we aren’t just about fighting fires, we're about keeping people safe in their homes.
"This scheme has allowed us to improve older peoples' wellbeing and the environment in which they live, meaning they can live independently and safely in their homes for longer."
Anyone living in South Staffordshire can request a free home fire risk check by calling 0800 0241 999.