North East Connected

NFRS partner in multinational social inclusion project

Northumberland Fire and Rescue welcomes international partners from Denmark, Spain, Romania, Poland and Holland to the second workshop of the EU Firefighters Plus project.

Firefighters are ranked as one of the most trustworthy profession across all global regions. Therefore, fire and rescue services across the EU have the potential to do something more for their communities beyond their traditional firefighting and rescue roles. The Firefighters Plus project aims at helping firefighters use their position as role models to promote social inclusion within their community.

To do so, five fire and rescue services, including NFRS, and two NGOs with wide experience in the field of social cohesion and engagement have joined forces to develop the first open and multilingual online training course for firefighters on how to use their position as societal role models to promote social inclusion.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service welcomed the 5 international partners to Northumberland to progress the Firefighter Plus project onto the next stage, which will be the first of two testing phases designed to assess the suitability of the tool for operational firefighters and identify improvements required.

Paul Hedley, Chief Fire Officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are delighted to welcome our partners from the Firefighters Plus programme. We feel this is a great opportunity to utilise our skills and position within the community to help promote social inclusion, social cohesion and more diverse community safety, and help those more vulnerable within our communities.

The event at West Hartford has allowed us to further develop the training tool and we are looking forward to the next steps which will see us get the training tool ready for implementation and testing.”

Councillor John Riddle cabinet member with responsibility for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “The training tool developed through the Fire Fighters Plus project will benefit our communities; using our fire teams to promote social inclusion will help our residents overcome inequality and disadvantage and will enable people and communities to fully participate in society.”

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