Working together to make all safe and well

A new video highlighting how firefighting has changed across the decades has now been launched, with an emphasis on ‘safe and well’ visits.

The video – produced by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service – shows how firefighting has changed in recent years. Fighting more fires and carrying out more rescues in the 1980s; fitting smoke alarms in the 1990s, developing education and home visits in 2000s; recognising older people were at higher risk in 2010; to developing Safe and Well visits in recent years.

This video is now being rolled out nationally to other fire services and partners, and is being supported by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and NHS England. It is hoped the video will raise awareness of Safe and Well visits and encourage more people who would benefit such a visit to contact their local fire and rescue service.

Research has shown that people deemed to be more vulnerable are at a higher risk of injury and death from fire-related incidents.

This is part of a much wider partnership; Fire and Rescue Services across the country have joined forces with NHS England and other organisations to help tackle health and social issues, while working towards reducing winter pressures.

As a result, fire services will be carrying out more ‘Safe and Well checks in people’s homes, in particular those deemed to be more vulnerable.

Currently firefighters carry out 670,000 home safety checks each year – equivalent to visiting everyone who lives in Iceland twice – and are hoping to increase this number. It is hoped the ‘Safe and Well’ visits will particularly help people who are vulnerable and those with complex conditions.

As well as reducing the risks of a fire, the visits aim to reduce health risks such as falls, loneliness and isolation which will also reduce visits to A&E, broken hips and depression.

In addition, evidence shows that a high percentage of people will allow firefighters into their home due to the high level of trust they have; making it easier for them to give simple advice which could save or change a life.

The video also coincides with the recent NHS England, Local Government Association and CFOA document ‘Working Together’. This sets out how Fire and Rescue Services, health and social care organisations are at the heart of their communities and seek to help people stay safe and well in their homes, with particular emphasis on early intervention.

‘Working Together’ outlines the commitment of NHS England, social care, health providers and Fire and Rescue Service to work together and reduce future demand.

CFOA Lead for Health, Peter O’Reilly, said: “We know that joint working is having a major impact on the prevention agenda; specifically targeting people who are more vulnerable who are at a higher risk from death and injury from fire in their homes.”

Fire and rescue services and health and social care organisations are at the heart of
their communities; seeking to help people stay safe and well in their homes and in
their neighbourhoods.”

NHS England’s Head of Long Term Conditions, End of Life Care and Older People, Jacquie White said, “working better together just makes sense, we all need to maximise opportunities to ensure people stay safe and well in their home. The Fire and Rescue Service are reaching out to many of the same people and families who find themselves at risk of ill health.”

Neil Odin, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services, commented: ‘We are delighted to get the chance to share this video through CFOA as the important messages about the positive ways in which the fire service is changing to help make people not only safe, but also well, resonate beyond Hampshire out across the nation.’
The Fire and Rescue Service has a long and successful history of prevention and early
intervention. By working in partnership with other organisations including health and social care, all organisations involved in the partnership are seeing results.

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