News release text
Over a thousand schoolchildren from across Maidstone received vital safety messages as part of a multi-agency event aimed at preparing them for the big step - moving from primary to secondary school.
The two-week “Safety in Action” programme, held at Invicta Army Barracks between 3 and 14 June, was attended by over 42 primary schools.
Children worked in teams and were judged on their ability to deal with, and their knowledge of, safety within various scenarios including: fire, water, electrical, road, personal, drug and alcohol awareness.
The programme was designed to help students develop their competence and confidence in responsible citizenship and safety skills and allowed the youngsters to deal with potentially dangerous or life-threatening situations which they might be exposed to in their everyday life.
Each session explored a different topic such as; what to do if they discover a fire, how to put someone in the recovery position, the importance of being seen in the dark and how to make an emergency 999 call. But they also received crucial lessons in personal safety, such as how to stay safe online or when travelling by bus or train and the impact of anti-social behaviour.
Melanie Quinn, part of Kent Fire and Rescue Service's (KFRS) education team, said: "Making the move from primary to secondary school can be one of the biggest changes in our lives, and brings with it a variety of new and challenging situations.
“We placed the youngsters in situations simulating potential danger, such as a bedroom fire or peer pressure to take part in anti-social behaviour like starting fires deliberately. But it was done in a controlled environment so that we were able to provide practical help on what they should do.”
KFRS will provide fire safety advice, other agencies and scenario’s involved with the Safety in Action Programme are:
Kent Police: Personal Safety and Crime
Kent County Council: Bus Safety & Road Safety
Maidstone Borough Council: Environmental Awareness
RNLI: Beach and Water Safety
Institute of Engineering Technology: Electrical Safety
British Transport Police /Kent Community Rail Partnership: Railway Safely
Kenward Trust / Switch Youth Café: Drug and Alcohol Awareness
Mid Kent College: First Aid Awareness
Astrid Finlay and eleven year old pupil from Leeds and Broomfield C of E Primary School said: “If the smoke alarms went off in my home I’d be scared but I’d know what to do, I’d get out of my house and I wouldn’t go back in for anything.”
Mel added: “Helping these young people make life-saving decisions to ensure they stay safe is a top priority for all the agencies involved.”
Notes to Newsdesks:
Photos of Mel Quinn from KFRS's education team with Leeds and Broomfield C of E Primary School pupils Astrid Finlay, Antonia Wishart, Niall Avenell, Joshua Brooks and George Carpeter are available on the KFRS photo library at www.kentfirephotos.co.uk reference number 5337 and 5338.
Safety in Action events are also being held at:
North West Kent, Cobham Hall, Gravesend – between 3 and 14 June
Ashford - Towers School Enterprise Centre – between 17 and 28 June
Swale – Wormdale Farm, Sittingbourne – between 30 September and 11 October
Maidstone Borough Council is delighted to have secured sponsorship funding from ‘SafetyMARK’ to continue Safety in Action 2013. The team at SafetyMARK recognises that Safety in Action provides an invaluable practical learning experience for pupils, teaching them how to deal with potentially dangerous and sometimes life-threatening situations. More information about the SafetyMARK scheme can be obtained from http://www.safety-mark.co.uk Melanie Quinn from KFRS’s education team with Leeds and Broomfield C of E Primary School pupils: Astrid Finlay, Antonia Wishart, Niall Avenell, Joshua Brooks and George Carpenter.