Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service
Fire and Rescue Emergency service covering two counties, providing home fire safety checks with the fitting of free smoke alarms and advice for escape routes, for vulnerable adults, families and carer’s. Includes a comprehensive Signposting service to a range of partner organisations that provide supportive and preventative services to vulnerable people we engage with to maximise their safety and independence.
- 1 November 2016
- West Midlands
- Emergency Services Sector
- Local Alliances:
- Herefordshire Dementia Action Alliance, Kidderminster Dementia Action Alliance, Redditch and Bromsgrove Dementia Action Alliance, Evesham Dementia Action Alliance
1. Action Plan
1. The National Dementia Declaration lists a number of outcomes that we are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?
As an emergency response service, our aim is to reduce the number of serious injuries and fire deaths for those who are most at risk due to age and memory loss issues through our Signposting Service which alerts a range of agencies to vulnerable households and occupants who may be in need of additional supportive services.
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service recognise that people with dementia need to live safely in their own homes for as long as possible, it is our aim to assist people, their families and carer’s to enjoy independence in a safe environment with the prevention of an accidental fire from occuring and the earliest opportunity to the detection of fire.
To provide essential advice to enable people with dementia and their carer’s to keep safe in their home environment, to assist occupants and raise levels of awareness of distraction fire incidents in the home, reducing fire deaths and serious injuries for people with dementia or their carer’s. To refer to supportive organisations, and promote the use of assistive technology for safer homes.
To provide free training to organisational staff teams in identifying hidden fire hazards in the home at an earlier stage so that intervention and prevention measure can take place.
Maintain working arrangements with provider services, Social Care providers, Community Teams, Carer’s Associations etc., to ensure the Fire Service reaches and protects the most vulnerable people in our communities, who may be unable to protect themselves from fire incidents.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
- Awareness of fire safety may not be a priority for vulnerable people with dementia and/or carer’s
- Denial of risk (it will never happen to me)
- High risk behaviour patterns that are difficult to change or influence
- Individuals may place cost or percieved cost of assistive technology over lifesaving early detection to fire with linked smoke alarms to call centre, especially for people who would not respond or take action when alarms are activated.
- Individuals’ belief that old and ageing electrical appliances are safe, this also applies to gas appliances, heaters, and electic wiring within properties.
- Self awareness or lack of self awareness to be able to respond appropriately to a fire.
- Number of low level fires and near misses that are not reported and advice/prevention for a more serious incident occuring is not sought.
- Ensuring that partner agencies embrace joint working with Fire Service in reducing fire deaths and serious injuries of people they engage with and provide services to.
Development of working arrangements with organisations
With ‘live’ working arrangements between agencies, our service is enabled to reach people who present as high risk of having an accidental fire by training staff that visit people in their homes. This group of people would ordinarily not seek fire safety advice.
We are targetting people who are most likely to have a fire in their home, they may suffer smoke inhalation or die in a house fire. Dementia could be a contributing factor, This group may not be in contact or engaging well within their community and by that definition may become isolated and exluded and more at risk of accidental or distraction fire incidents. By joint working agreements we can reach this group of vulnerable people to ensure preventative measures can be included towards independent living.
2016 - Second Quarter UpdateIt is our aim to review all our partnership agreements with organisations who support people with dementia and their carers to ensure that these organisations continue to have an understanding of the support Hereford and Worcester Fire Service can provide. This review will also ensure that the knowlegde of people working in our service is up to date regards the services available so we signpost to this support.
Development of an Education Package for people with Dementia
Visiting older people’s groups, or groups for people with early onset dementia, to raise awareness and to positvely influence their current actions or behaviour patterns that could potentially put themselves and/or others at risk, by putting preventative measures and practises in at an earlier stage to encourage safer practises that become routine behaviour. By developing an educational pack that is accessible to this group and appropriate to their needs.
Staff training in awareness of dementia
Key staff have dementia awareness training that enables us to communicate more effectively with individuals and their carers. By understanding some of the complexities of dementia and different types of dementia, we can tailor our services in a more person centred approach to achieve the maximum level of service that will have a positive impact in keeping people safer from fire incidents.
- Being implemented
2016 - Second Quarter UpdateThe Community Risk Team at Hereford and Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Team are all completing the City and Guilds Level 2 Award in Dementia Awareness.