West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service's work involves much more than fighting fires... Our activities are constantly developing and evolving to help educate the public on fire and road safety in order to minimise the risk of fires and accidents within the local community. Our dedicated teams cover many areas of work including: youth initiatives, community fire safety, road safety and safeguarding.
Our youth team run a range of events to help young people understand the risks they may face and the consequences of their actions in relation to fire or road safety behaviour.
FireWise is a service in which our fire safety advisors work closely with youngsters who are exhibiting fire-setting behaviour. Our team gives guidance to parents, carers and professionals who may be concerned about a child or young person playing with fire. By understanding the circumstances that lead young people to start fires, and following some basic fire safety advice, we can reduce the chance of further fires.
Our FireBreak scheme offers students from Year 8 and 9 the chance to attend a fire station for a week, taking part in a structured, disciplined programme of practical and classroom-based workshops. Activities include fire service drills, team-building exercises and life-saving first aid techniques including HeartStart training. Young people are nominated by their school for a variety of reasons, such as:
- low self-esteem and confidence
- being bullied or bullying
- being on the brink of exclusion from school
- generally struggling within the school environment.
The course builds confidence and encourages them to become positive role models, consequently helping towards maintaining a safer community.
Throughout the year our youth team also work closely with schools across the county to provide them with fire safety information. School visits are a great way to help children understand the dangers of fire and encouraging them to stay safe from a young age by interacting with them in their classrooms.
Our emotive live stage show, Safe Drive Stay Alive, is designed to help keep young drivers and passengers safe on our roads by showing the devastating consequences of serious road accidents.
Home Safety Visits
We offer Home Safety Visits to vulnerable individuals within our community. These are pre-arranged visits to people's homes so our firefighters, community fire safety team or community volunteers can give advice on how to make homes safer, and if appropriate, fit fire detection equipment free of charge. We also look for risk factors that impact on health and wellbeing, signposting people to support from other services where necessary.
Safeguarding means protecting the health, wellbeing and basic rights of vulnerable adults or children which allows them to live a life free from abuse, neglect, or harm. It means making sure people are supported to have full and happy lives. The safety of the public is our foremost priority in everything we do, and the our safeguarding team work closely alongside other agencies such as the police or social services, to protect people we feel may be vulnerable or at risk of being harmed or harming others.
Our media team create many communications campaigns which run throughout the year to raise awareness of the importance of fire and road safety. From annual Christmas drink and drug driving campaigns, through to raising awareness of electrical fire safety and promoting our fire station open days, our media team are always coming up with new ways to communicate with the community.
The work we do couldn't be achieved without our community volunteers who give up their own time to assist the fire service in a range of circumstances, whether that be on our stations, at events or during open days.