Fire safety fun in 999 celebration

BT volunteer Laraine Edwards with youngsters from Bryn Offa Primary School celebrate the 70th anniversary of 999 with Sam Hamer from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service and Oswestry police officer, Constable Peters. Picture courtesy of Shropshire Star.
5th July, 2007

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service celebrated the 70th anniversary of the 999 emergency services with schoolchildren who took part in an interactive fire safety demonstration.

Youngsters aged from 4 to 11 at Bryn Offa Primary School in Pant, near Oswestry, learned what to do in an emergency and how to stay safe with information from community fire safety officer Sam Hamer.

They took part in a number of activities including a race to put on a firefighter's uniform and practised staying low and getting underneath an imaginery smoke layer in the shape of a billowing canopy.

Head teacher David Purslow said: "They very much enjoyed it. It was very informative getting serious messages of safety over to them while at the same time having a lot of fun. They were kept very active."

Lynn Hosking, Youth Officer with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Children get the message and then go home and tell their parents what to do in an emergency and insist that they must have an escape plan so that all the family can get out in case of fire. These are all life saving actions that we must all take."

BT volunteers Laraine Edwards and Alison Wood talked about the history of the telephone and explained how 999 was introduced after a serious fire at a London surgery in 1935. It had to be an easy to remember number and able to be called in the dark.

"The first 999 call was made on July 7, 1937 by a lady from Hampstead who asked for police as her husband had seen a man outside their house in the early hours. A man was later arrested."