Fire champions have their work recognised

Community Champions' celebration
Community Champions' celebration

Volunteers who have helped to promote fire safety in their communities had their contribution rewarded recently.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s (CFRS) Community Champions pilot scheme has been active in South Cambridgeshire for more than a year, and to mark the occasion volunteers were invited to the CFRS headquarters in Huntingdon to be presented with certificates on February 4.

Among those enjoying a slice of birthday cake and taking a tour of the service control room was Sylvia Mallion, from Barnardiston, who has volunteered at Linton Fire Station.

Community champions encourage local residents to carry out fire safety checks in their homes, and visit community groups to educate about fire safety and escape plans, as well as referring to CFRS those who are not confident at undertaking their own fire safety checks.

The champions have visited and advised 30 community groups so far and attended 32 events, while around 650 individuals have received free home safety advice through the scheme, which is delivered in association with the charity Cambridgeshire ACRE.

Volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and are given full training.

Wendy Coleman, community risk manager at CFRS who spearheads the scheme, said: “Community champions are a valuable asset to the service and have already proven to be a great success.

“This was the perfect opportunity to thank them for all the work they have done for us to date and to involve them more in the service.

“Their role is to promote the service to those people who can carry out fire safety in their own homes and communities themselves, and to show residents how easy it is to look after their family’s fire safety by doing simple things like installing a correctly fitted and working smoke alarm.”

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 21) Echo.