Fire service gets innovative to educate young people

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is leading the way in fire safety education by creating it’s very own comic to engage with young people about fire safety. 

The comic style fire safety booklet has been created for children in schools across Warwickshire after a recent study by Sheffield Hallam University showed that students remembered details significantly better, when learnt through comic books compared to textbooks. With this in mind our Education Officer, Ruth Greenhalgh did some research of her own and along with Dekko Comics, created an innovative approach to promoting fire safety and healthy lifestyle choices to school children in year 5.

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Services Education Officer, Ruth Greenhalgh said:

“As a Fire and Rescue Service our priority is to ensure that we are as inclusive as possible and that we take full advantage of new and innovative ways of working. The comic is a great way for us to get fire safety and health and fitness messages across to young people, especially those who have learning difficulties, as we know that they learn better from comics than they do a textbook. The next step now is to roll it out to schools across Warwickshire and encourage all young people to become fire safety champions.”

One of the first schools to use the comic is St Francis Catholic Primary School in Bedworth. The feedback from the children and teachers to date has been fantastic.

Talking about the collaboration, Founder of Dekko Comics, Rossie Stone said:

“I believe there is so much untapped value to be benefitted from in the comic-strip layout. For information as important as fire safety, it is vital that it is communicated as clearly as possible and engages the readers enough that they remember the lessons vividly. Warwickshire Fire Service has provided something both invaluably useful and memorably appealing to its children through relatable characters and engaging story. What better way to teach children than through something they would pick up in their spare time?”

Warwickshire County Councillor Howard Roberts, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said:

“Educating young people is key to keeping our communities safer and helping young people stay fire safe as they move into their teenage years and then into adulthood. As a fire and rescue service, I am always impressed to see new and innovative ways of working, but the creation of the comic to specifically target young people with additional learning needs, really is something to be very proud of.”

The comic itself not only covers key fire safety messages around smoke alarms, fire action plan, hoax calls and hazards in the home, but it also talks about staying fit and healthy and has a twist with support from a historical figure, Shakespeare, who plays his part in promoting fire safety. The comic also includes some local landmarks for the children to identify, so hopefully it will be a real hit!

For more information on fire safety education in schools log onto https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/firesafetyeducation