Borough youngsters get crucial lessons in fire safety

Pupils from Valley Gardens Middle School at Whitley Bay (left to right) Josh Bairstow, Jamie Steele and Jack Iredale taking part in the Crucial Crew event at North Tyneside East Community Fire Station, Preston Road, North Shields, joined by Bob Knox from Northern Power Grid.
Pupils from Valley Gardens Middle School at Whitley Bay (left to right) Josh Bairstow, Jamie Steele and Jack Iredale taking part in the Crucial Crew event at North Tyneside East Community Fire Station, Preston Road, North Shields, joined by Bob Knox from Northern Power Grid.
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YOUNGSTERS from the borough have been taking crucial lessons in safety in the run-up to bonfire night.

More than 800 Year 6 pupils visited North Tyneside East Community Fire Station in North Shields for an education with a difference day on Friday.

Called ‘Crucial Crew’, the event’s primary aim is to reduce accidental injuries and deaths in fires, which is particularly relevant in the lead up to November 5.

The ten and 11-year-olds also learned about the hazards they face in everyday life and what to do if an accident occurs.

Seven different ‘real-life’ scenarios that highlight potential dangers were set up in the fire station.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service promoted bonfire and firework safety in an interactive and fun scenario, and the children were shown video clips and photographs of real life incidents where children have been burned.

They performed routine tasks such as using a mobile phone or playing on an Xbox whilst blindfolded or wearing mittens.

Station manager Graham Smith said: “Accidents are the biggest cause of death amongst children after cancer, and by their very nature can be prevented.

“By working with our partners we are able to highlight the various dangers, including fire, and promote ways of staying safe.

“We know young people want to have fun so this event is all about showing them how they can stay safe whilst still having fun.

“This is especially important in the run-up to bonfire night, our busiest time – we would encourage everyone to attend an organised display to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable bonfire night.”

The British Red Cross were also involved, showing the children how to recognise and treat burns, including advice on keeping burns cool and when to call an ambulance.

The event has been organised by the North Tyneside Child Accident Prevention (CAP) Strategy Group; a multi-agency task force and part of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.

North Tyneside mayor Linda Arkley added: “The Crucial Crew event is a great way for children to learn about how to avoid dangers and accidents which will hopefully considerably reduce their risk of harm in the future.

“It’s really important that our children have the knowledge and skills to stay safe, and Crucial Crew’s engaging and interactive format really helps our children understand the serious lessons that we’re trying to teach them.”