Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) has joined forces with Inspire in order to identify and protect people with mental health, intellectual disability and addiction issues from accidental house fires.
Alan Walmsley, Assistant Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, NIFRS explains: “Fire safety is an issue that impacts everyone in Northern Ireland but we know there are people who because of their circumstances - either mobility or health issues that impact on their ability to acknowledge and respond to a fire - are at a greater risk.
“Our aim is to protect those most at risk but we also recognise that we cannot solve the problem alone. We need to work in partnership with organisations such as Inspire to raise awareness of fire safety so that together we can tackle the problem.
“Over the coming months the new partnership agreement will see us providing free Home Fire Safety Checks for families referred to us by Inspire. The Home Fire Safety Checks ensure that practical fire safety advice is given by local Firefighters, fire escape plans developed and smoke alarms checked or fitted.
“This partnership approach ultimately saves lives and helps us protect and engage directly with those in the community who need our help most. We want to reach a stage where we have no fatalities due to accidental house fires.”
Inspire is a charity and social enterprise based in Northern Ireland focusing on promoting wellbeing for all through mental health, learning disability, addiction and professional wellbeing services locally, across the island of Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
Professor Peter McBride, Chief Executive of Inspire said – “I welcome the NIFRS making mental health, learning disability and addiction core priorities. The wraparound support Inspire provides to our service users extends far beyond our direct engagement. We work with vulnerable individuals in a variety of ways to ensure they are informed, empowered and, crucially, safe. Partnerships like this one with the NIFRS, enable individuals engaged with any of our services to access the further support they may need to ensure they live safe and healthy lives their local communities.”
NIFRS currently has 68 partnership agreements with organisations across the health, social care, voluntary and local government sectors, who deliver care services to people at risk on a daily basis. To find out how to become a partner agency with Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 02892 664 221.