GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is teaming up
with Greater Manchester Probation Trust as part of a scheme to
raise awareness of the potential fire dangers of alcohol misuse in
GMFRS staff in Bolton are working with probation
officers to deliver essential fire safety messages to
ex-offenders with serious alcohol-related problems who have been
placed on Alcohol Treatment Requirement (ATR) programmes.
The scheme also sees GMFRS educating probation staff who
regularly come into contact with people on ATR programmes, advising
staff on fire safety and raising awareness of the fire risks
to individuals with alcohol-related issues.
Bolton Borough Commander, Ian Bailey, said: "Alcohol is a
significant factor in a huge number of accidental dwelling fires
that we deal with in Bolton on a daily basis so ATR clients are an
important part of the community for us to engage with.
"This is the first time we have run this initiative in Bolton
and both the ATR clients and Probation Trust workers feel it's a
really worthwhile project and something we hope to develop further
in the future."
GMFRS and the trust are hoping to run four sessions in total,
but the idea is ongoing which means probation officers can refer
individuals to the fire service at any time if they feel that
person will benefit from fire safety advice and information.
The first session was carried out this week.
Andy Roberts, from the Probation Trust in Bolton, said: "This is
an exciting and innovative initiative and an excellent example of
Bolton Probation and GMFRS working in close collaboration to
support safety in local communities. Initially we are dealing with
individuals where alcohol has played a significant factor in their
behaviour and we hope this work will raise awareness and
understanding between alcohol misuse and the risk of accidental
fires in the home.
"This is an important issue to highlight, particularly at this
time of the year. Hopefully we will extend the programme in the
future to include a wider group of offenders."