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Kent Fire and Rescue Service welcome Nepalese community at open day

Kent Fire and Rescue Service welcome Nepalese community at open day

24 October 2018

Keeping you and your family safe was the main message of the day when Tonbridge fire station opened their doors to their local Nepalese community.

The free event gave people the chance to chat to firefighters and get life-saving tips to help prevent a fire in their home. Around 100 visitors saw the devastating effects of putting water on to a cooking oil fire, with a cooking fire demonstration.

Firefighter, Wayne Apps who helped organise the day said: "We really enjoyed meeting with the Nepalese community and were pleased to see so many people come along on the day. It followed a fire in April, so we've worked with the community leader to find the best way to make sure the wider community know about our safe and well visits, the importance of having working smoke alarms and an escape plan and how to stay safe. 

"There are lots of elderly within the Nepalese community and just because English isn't their first language, this shouldn't be a barrier, because everyone is entitled to our support and services. We also took the opportunity to promote on-call firefighting and other job opportunities at Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS)."

South East Coast Ambulance Service's community first responder team from Tonbridge explained to the community that the emergency services are not the only ones who make a difference with burns injuries. They gave advice on how to prevent further injury and reduce scarring by taking immediate action. They also demonstrated basic-life support training and hands-only CPR and showed how public access defibrillators (PADs) work.

KFRS has PADs fitted outside all of its fire stations, which are easily accessible and in the heart of the community, should they be needed to help save lives when someone is in cardiac arrest.

People were able to get up close to a fire engine and hear about the range of equipment fire crews' use.

Kent Police's Community Liaison Officer was also on hand to give safety advice and equipment.

Chairman of the Tonbridge Nepalese community, Mohan Rana said, "The day was very worthwhile, we learned about fire, what makes it worse and how we can help protect ourselves. We are very grateful to KFRS and the Tonbridge fire station."

Vesh Thapa, the Secretary of the Tonbridge Nepalese community said: "We're looking forward to working together in the future. It's very important for all communities to know about the fire service as well as the other emergency services.

"We've all learned a lot and even the elderly members of our community were able to understand because the video we watched and the fire safety information we took away, was in Nepalese, so everyone understood the importance of fire safety and the help available to us."

Some of the younger Nepalese members acted as translators and Vesh added: "We will be encouraging some of these talented young people to think about joining the fire service to help the community and keep it safe."

After the activities and demonstrations, everyone sat down to share traditional Nepalese snacks kindly provided by the Nepalese community.

For more information about fire safety and our safe and well visits, please go to www.kent.fire-uk.org or call free on 0800 923 7000.

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