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(L-R) Michael Bloomfield, Chief Executive, NIAS; Michael Curran, Station Commander, NIFRS; Ciaran McKenna, Clinical Service Improvement Lead, NIAS; and Gerry Lennon, Group Commander, NIFRS
Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) have signed a partnership agreement which aims to provide fire safety advice and reduce fire deaths, injuries and fires in homes across Northern Ireland.
Alan Walmsley, Assistant Chief Fire and Rescue Officer, Director Service Delivery, NIFRS, explains:
“NIAS staff can now make referrals directly to us for anyone they feel is at risk of a fire in their home and who meet our People at Risk definition. We will follow this up with a free Home Fire Safety Check where detailed fire safety advice is provided, and we will ensure the home is fitted with a working smoke alarm. This service will be carried out by Firefighters from a local station. We will also visit any group referred to us and provide detailed information on how to stay safe from fire in the home.
“This collaborative partnership with NIAS will be key in helping us deliver our ‘People at Risk’ Strategy and to use our resources to support the wider health and wellbeing needs of the community. The referral system will contribute to the overall reduction in the number of accidental fire deaths and fire-related injuries in homes in Northern Ireland.”
Dr Nigel Ruddell, Medical Director for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, continued:
“NIAS undertakes over 400,000 interactions with patients every year and it is when we encounter people in their own homes that we can gain an insight into some of the practical and social risks that can impact on safety. Increasingly we are working with partner agencies in order to deliver holistic care and we are delighted at this opportunity to practise this on a preventative basis.”