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VIPS visit Stafford Safe+Sound

April 3 2019
VIPS visit Stafford Safe+Sound - photo courtesy of Paul Millgate-Scarrott

VIPS visit Stafford Safe+Sound - photo courtesy of Paul Millgate-Scarrott

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s (SFRS) safety programme Safe+Sound recently welcomed a number of special guests.

“We had a most enjoyable visit to the Fire Station which was organised by the Safe +Sound team. It was an informative programme of events explaining to school children road safety including safety around large vehicles."

The Worshipful the Mayor of Stafford Borough Councillor Ray Barron

The Worshipful the Mayor of Stafford Borough Councillor Ray Barron and Mayoress Councillor Mrs Jenny Barron, Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, Councillor Jonathan Price and Ms Marlene Phillips joined children from schools across Stafford and Stone who were taking part in safety workshops at Stafford Fire Station on Friday, March 29.

Over recent weeks 1,200 children have attended Safe+Sound events. The events are SFRS’s mobile education programme which is delivered with partners including Staffordshire Police, the Canal and River Trust (C&RT), Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI), St John’s Ambulance, DHL, Ministry of Defence Medics, Network Rail and the Safer Roads Partnership.

The interactive workshops cover topics such as fire safety, emergency first aid, drug and alcohol awareness, road and truck safety, anti-social behaviour, personal safety (internet and online safety), water safety, rail safety and emotional wellbeing. Safe+Sound is mainly delivered at Community Fire Stations for year 5 or 6 children.

Safe+Sound is also available for 16 to 24 year-olds, with workshops covering topics such as distraction and driving, what to do in a road emergency, basic vehicle maintenance and becoming a dementia friend. Safe+Sound for over 60s has recently been introduced which covers topics such as assistive technology, scams and the internet, mental health and wellbeing, and emergency first aid including CPR and how to use a defibrillator.

Helen Wood, Education Manager for SFRS, said: “The partnership working allows us to give children a hands-on experience. For example, our partner delivery company DHL, bring a large lorry to sessions so children can experience for themselves how difficult it is for a driver to see them, and they learn how to stay safe around large vehicles. In Stafford the DHL lorry wouldn’t be possible without the support of Sainsbury’s/Argos at Acton Gate.

“As the weather gets warmer and school holidays approach we typically sees an increase in outdoor fires so we also deliver sessions covering our Flames Aren’t Games (FAG) campaign. This campaign aims to reduce the numbers of outdoor fires by educating young people about the danger fire setting poses to them and to others.

“We’re excited to be developing new technology to deliver future Safe+Sound sessions using immersive learning environments to encourage even greater interaction. The technology will be installed within four ‘pods’ (trailers) which will travel to Community Fire Stations around the county to enable us to deliver Safe+Sound to a wider range of audiences from. We hope to be using our new ‘pods’ by September 2019.

“The walls of the pods feature projected moving images, making participants feel as if they are in the virtual location being shown. They can navigate around virtual rooms and through this realistic experience they will hopefully get a better understanding of how they can keep themselves safe.

“During the academic year to date we have delivered to over 6,000 people and aim to achieve 10,000 by July 2019.”

The Worshipful the Mayor of Stafford Borough Councillor Ray Barron said: “We had a most enjoyable visit to the Fire Station which was organised by the Safe +Sound team.

“It was an informative programme of events explaining to school children road safety including safety around large vehicles. Internet protection was provided by a local Police Community Support Officer, life-saving skills by the Ministry of Defence medics, safety around river and canals by the Canal and River Trust, fire safety around the home and general information to keep the children safe.”