Image demonstrating NFRS partner in multinational social inclusion project

NFRS partner in multinational social inclusion project

Personnel from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service recently returned from Poznań, Poland following the third transnational meeting of the Firefighter Plus project.

Firefighters are ranked as one of the most trustworthy profession across the world. Therefore, fire and rescue services across Europe have the potential to do something more for their communities beyond their traditional firefighting and rescue roles. The Firefighters Plus project aims to help 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.

Paul Hedley, Chief Fire Officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “We feel that the Firefighters Plus project 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 meeting in Poland has allowed us to identify how we can further improve the training tool so that it can be used most effectively by firefighters. We are looking forward to the next steps of the project which will see us develop some new material and some useful practical tools for firefighters to use. We will then embark on a second testing phase where firefighters from NFRS and the other project countries will use the training tool to learn more about social inclusion and to design and deliver social inclusion activities. "

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.”

The next project meeting will take place in Spring 2019 in Hillerød, Denmark during which the delegates from the partner organisations will prepare for the the final publication of the online training course.

The Firefighters Plus project is an initiative of Frederiksborg Fire & Rescue Service (Denmark) in collaboration with Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service (UK), Provincial Headquarters of the State Fire Service in Poznan (Poland), Instituut Fysieke Veiligheid (The Netherlands), Alcala de Guadaira Fire & Rescue Service (Spain), Centrul de Resurse pentru Diversitate Etnoculturală (Romania) and Stowarzyszenie WIOSNA (Poland). The Firefighters Plus project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

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