Thames-side firefighters welcomed The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Services (ADSS) group to the fire station in Coldharbour Road earlier this week (Monday, 20th October).
The visitors learned about the range of free devices and services Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) can provide to help them stay safe and independent in their own homes. They also saw the variety of rescue equipment used by the crews when responding to 999 calls.
Event organiser, Green Watch Firefighter, Mike Edwards said: “The crew have all taken part in the Dementia Friends training as we wanted to have a better understanding of dementia and be able to look out for the early signs when we respond to emergency calls or during home fire safety visits.
"We know how important it is for those living with dementia to feel understood and included in their communities, so we invited them to the fire station as it provided a visual and interactive session which they all enjoyed.
"We talked about the practical steps and safety gadgets, such as cooker shut off switches that we can put in place for those who may forget to turn the cooker off and provided eye-catching stickers to remind people to turn off TV’s, cookers and not to overload electrical sockets. This will hopefully help prevent fires starting and keep them safe and independent in their own homes."
ADSS Support Worker, Sherry Boyd, said: "It was really informative and doing it at the station meant it wasn't so abstract for the group, who are all in the early stages of dementia. We will be sharing what we've learned with carers, families and others living with the disease and recommending that they get in touch with KFRS to get the free help offered.”
Group member, Kenneth Horn said: "It was really helpful and I'm looking forward to the fire service coming to my home to do a fire safety check, it will help me feel safer.”
Eric Howe added: "I thought it was brilliant and there was so much I didn't know about like the smoke alarms for people who can't see or hear so well."
If you know anyone living with dementia who would benefit from a free home fire safety visit get in touch with KFRS today on 0800 923 7000 - even the call is free or email firstname.lastname@example.org - you may just save a life!