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Pupils learn about fire hazards in the home at Weymouth centre
2:38pm Friday 4th October 2013 in News
PUPILS were all fired up on a special civic day at Weymouth’s state of the art community safety centre.
But they were also shadowed by more than 30 dignitaries on a tour of facilities interactive educational suites and firefighting facilities.
Pupils learned about the dangers of alcohol, cigarettes and hazardous products in HealthWise sessions and also saw firefighters in action rescuing causalities in a mocked up blaze.
They learned about high tech kit used to rescue people from floods, landslides and accidents but also toured the station to see the mess, locker rooms and offices.
But the highpoint for many children was the innovative FireWise suite with community education officer and firefighter Dave Allan.
Pupils had to identify fire dangers in three rooms – a kitchen, bedroom and lounge – complete with furniture, electrical and kitchen gear as well as smoke and imitation flames.
Youngsters then watched an explosive display from behind protective glass of real fires involving a chip pan and sofa before seeing the devastating effects of fire on the replica bedroom, kitchen and lounge.
Chief Fire Officer Darran Gunter and Dorset Fire Authority chairman Rebecca Knox welcomed the dignitaries but also explained how they hoped to expand the services at the centre.
Mr Gunter said that the message was about ‘saving lives and changing lives’ through the centre.
He said: “FireWise is like CSI for the children but it is not just for young people.
“It is open to all community groups and is free.”
He added that they are turning a classroom into a nightclub scene for a NightWise initiative to warn of dangers at night but also aim to set up a RoadWise road safety centre.
Coun Knox said that there were some really good opportunities for the service to work with such partners as children’s services and stressed what a great asset the centre was for the community.
Pupils from Chickerell are among 1,100 pupils so far this year to go on the FireWise and HealthWise courses at the centre.
Dignitaries included Weymouth and Portland Mayor and Mayoress Ray Banham and Pam Nixon, senior police, ambulance and fire service officers as well business people and Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill.
Guests were given a copy of Dorset Fire and Rescue Service’s Saving Lives, Changing Lives....With You brochure.
The service has launched a Saving Lives, Changing Lives....With You with DVD.
Visit safewise.org for more details or call the centre on 01305 753050 for more details about attending a course or booking a room.
Community Safety Centre
The centre is run by a charity called SafeWise and its pool of 20 volunteers man the reception and help out.
Community groups can book rooms at the centre for meetings and conferences but it also has an exercise and dance hall for hire as well as an IT suite and cafe.
All those who go along must complete the FireWise course first.
The FireWise course is free and open to all groups who wish to go on it.
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