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Hampshire fire service will provide 'targeted support' for vulnerable people



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NEW body cams for firefighters and visits to vulnerable residents have been promised as part of plans to make Hampshire a safer place to live.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service yesterday (Thursday) presented its draft community safety plan to Hampshire County Council, writes David George of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The fire service’s plan is to make people more aware of fire risks, while further improving its own service.

(Photo: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)
(Photo: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)

Under the draft plan, vulnerable people will receive more targeted support from local firefighters, and emphasis will be placed on better prioritising building inspections and equipment allocation.

Area manager Jason Avery said: "This plan will consolidate everything we do and make Hampshire a safer place to live.

"It’s the first time we’ve created a three-year plan like this, because we want to be more forward-thinking and go further than just giving people advice.

"The best way to help people is to be in their homes, but we can’t do that with vulnerable people unless there’s a fire ongoing."

By partnering with other organisations such as the county council and local NHS trusts, the fire service can identify those who need the most protection.

This includes people with disabilities, the elderly and people with dementia.

Mr Avery explained that this work cannot be done by the fire service alone.

He said: ‘We are by no means the experts in health and wellbeing, but we are keen to learn and passionate about delivering this plan.

"We want to work with our partners, to reach out to those people who might be in need of our help."

As part of the plan, changes will also be made to how the fire service responds to emergency calls.

Currently many firefighter call-outs are to unwanted fire signals – such as automatic fire alarms – or to lift incidents. The way these incidents are managed will be changed, although specific detail on this has not been provided.

Firefighters could also be equipped with new body-worn video cameras too.

Addressing Mr Avery, Simon Bryant, Hampshire County Council’s director of public health, said: "We know you are good at community safety – it would be great to see you guys join us in other lines of work in the future too, such as tackling domestic abuse."



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