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Children Commissioner’s Takeover Day 2013

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This national event gives children and young people the chance to shadow jobs, but most importantly they get actively involved in decision-making and offer their opinions on key issues.

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) hosted 10 pupils from Baxter College, Kidderminster on Friday, November 22, 2013.

The Year 8 students were given a project to work on during their day at HWFRS’ headquarters in Worcester and were then asked to ‘pitch’ their ideas to senior managers, including the Chief Fire Officer, in a Dragons’ Den style event. A teacher from Baxter College also took on the role of a ‘Dragon’.

The project the pupils worked on related to arson prevention. They were all asked to devise a community safety plan which would help to reduce deliberate fires in the Rifle Range area of Kidderminster, which is near to their school.

Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates said: “Three teams pitched their ideas to us and the ideas which were put forward were innovative and forward thinking. As a Service we were delighted to have the students with us and found all of their suggestions very useful and very positive.”

The winning team’s idea to reduce the number of deliberate fires involved the creation of a team of volunteers called the Fire Buddies who would both spread fire safety messages and deal with small fires, by accessing areas of the Rifle Range on mountain bikes. They also created a timetable for a ‘Family Fun Day’ to highlight the dangers of starting fires through fun activities and demonstrations.

Chief Fire Officer Yates said: “I am sure the winning team’s ideas could be incorporated into our community safety activities. We will be examining their ideas further over the coming months and hopefully their suggestions should help to form the basis of a community safety campaign.”