IRLAM Fire Station has been hosting cooking lessons for
beginners teaching people how to make nutritious and healthy meals
in a safe way.
The pilot partnership scheme between Salford City Council and
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) ran once a week,
between July and September in the stations community
Firefighter Dave Pike said: "In Irlam our fire station is at the
heart of the community, so it seemed natural to invite Salford
Health Improvement Service to run their class from our station.
"Sixty per cent of all the fires we're called to at GMFRS start
in the kitchen, so as firefighters we were always on hand during
the cooking lessons to give people kitchen fire safety advice.
"Kitchen fires often start because people leave their cooking
unattended because they get distracted for just a second or two and
we were able to remind people to stand by their pans when they were
cooking their healthy meals to stay safe at home."
The scheme ran throughout the summer on Wednesday lunchtimes
when the group - consisting of people of a range of ages - used
small cooking stoves to make healthy dishes including chicken and
vegetable fajitas, curries and chilli dishes.
After learning how to make a chicken fajhita, 51-year-old David
Barcroft said: "The lessons have been great, helping me learn more
about living a healthy lifestyle.
"It's meant I can go home and cook new and exciting dishes for my
children and it's taught me how to use a knife to chop and prepare
"In the fire station I learnt to always stay by my cooking in
the kitchen because it's important not to be distracted."
Salford Borough Manager Paul Petrykowski said: "The cooking
lessons at Irlam Fire Station were a brilliant way for our fire
crews to get kitchen fire safety messages across while working with
our partners to make sure people are eating healthily.
"Although it was a pilot scheme we'll be looking to continue
working with Salford Health Improvement Service to get messages
about healthy eating and safe cooking out there."
Margaret Morris, assistant mayor for health and wellbeing,
praised the idea and said: "This is an excellent way to give local
people important messages about healthy eating and fire safety.