Life saving safety initiative visits university students to deliver its message

A major safety initiative, which aims to keep Teesside young people alive, safe and well, will be at Teesside University this week as part of an exercise aimed at raising safety awareness.

Cleveland Fire Brigade's ground breaking 'Learn and Live' programme was at the Students' Union site in Middlesbrough on Nov 9 where close to 200 students saw a presentation about staying safe on the roads.

After the presentation one of the students (selected by raffle) took part in a mock car extrication outside the venue with crews from Middlesbrough Fire Station. The student were cut free from the wreckage of the car to illustrate the dangers of excessive speed and careless driving.

Simon Weastell, Station Manager for Cleveland Fire Brigade who organised the University event, said: "We're pleased to be able to work with our partners at the university to deliver this important safety message to young people. The live car extrication afterwards is also an excellent opportunity to bring home the dangers of excessive speed and dangerous driving."

Simon told FIRE that the 'Learn and Live' road, home safety, and drug and alcohol awareness exposes young people aged 16+ to this new and innovative method of 'impact education' recreating reality in a safe yet familiar environment.

From November to December this year thousands of young people across the four districts that the brigade serves will see the presentations.

Special guest presenters also add their expertise to the events; people like Jan Woodward and George Galli-Atkinson who both lost daughters in road traffic collisions and Lynn Ford who lost her son Andrew in a chip pan fire.

Also appearing in the drug and alcohol road shows will be Miss Sharon Church who explains to young people how drugs and alcohol can affect there lives. 

The net effect is an, at times, uncomfortable 45 minutes for young people but the results on road and home safety behaviour are provably dramatic.

Station Manager Jimmy Ruse told FIRE that since the original launch of 'Learn and Live' in May 2005 over 62,000 people have witnessed a presentation and the initiative continues to grow with requests to develop the format into other areas including domestic violence and arson and anti social behaviour.

Posted November 11th.