Uckfield firefighters mix football coaching with safety messages

Firefighters at Uckfield Fire station Paul Henty and Rick Funnell run a 'Coaching for a Safer Community' initiative in primary schools across Wealden.

The project has been developed over a three year period and is the first of its kind in the country with fire service personnel attending a unique FA Level 1 Emergency Service course that gives them a qualification in football coaching which enables them to deliver unique emergency services coaching sessions, writes Ian Ritchie.

All coaches have received ‘Safeguarding’ training and maintain up-to-date CRB checks.

The sessions are split into games with fire and road safety messages behind them. The messages cover, hoax calls, stop drop and roll, escape plans, 999, and the “Fatal Four” road safety messages.

Once the pupils have played one of the games, the coaches then speak about the message behind it and encourage open discussion from pupils about the potential consequences on themselves and other people.

The fire fighters have recently visited pupils at:

  • St Mary’s School, Crowborough
  • Parkside School, Heathfield
  • Framfield School, Framfield
  • Blackboys School, Blackboys
  • Maynards Green school, Heathfield

They say the response to the service is fantastic. Here is some of the feedback:

‘It was innovative and well thought out, getting important information across effectively’ Pat Coleman – Head teacher Nutley Primary School.

 ‘Invaluable Information relevant to their lives. Not over-dramatised but linked to reality’ Mrs Searle – Year 5 teacher St Mary’s School, Crowborough

My Overall Impression of the day was that it was a very well organised, planned session that was highly effective in enabling children’s knowledge of fire safety to further develop and be explored. Caroline Peck – Teaching Assistant, Blackboys School

There is no cost to the school for this service and anyone interested in requesting this initiative at their school or group please contact paul.henty@esfrs.org.

See also:

More about work at Uckfield Fire Station

History of firefighting in Uckfield

Open day coming up at restored garden near Uckfield

Medals and jewellery stolen in burglary at Little Horsted

Uckfield Diary Dates

Uckfield Directory


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