Outreach vehicle in rural fire safety boost

Working together: At the launch of the Outreach Vehicle were Shropshire Partnership's Mac Sandal; Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority chairman Nigel Hartin; David Carless, chairman of the Shropshire group of Advanced Motorists, Steve Chadwick, of Shropshire County Council's road safety department, Viv Taylor, of the Safer Communities Partnership, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond and Chief Superintendent Guy Rutter of West Mercia Constabulary

Keeping Shropshire safe from fire, road traffic collisions and other threats to people's safety - that is the "ultimate goal" of the new Outreach Vehicle said Deputy Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond at the launch of the £55,000 addition to the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service's fleet.

The eight metre wide 3.5 tonnes truck opens up into a 15 metre square display centre complete with an audio visual area containing a plasma screen TV and poster hoardings.

It will be used to travel the length and breadth of rural Shropshire spreading safety messages to villages and towns across the county.

"Over 40 per cent of the people of Shropshire live outside our towns and larger villages away from public services. We have to reach them and this vehicle will allow us to do that so that we can give out good public information and keep Shropshire safe - that is our ultimate goal," said Mr Raymond.

The launch was held at the Shrewsbury fire HQ and attended by the fire service's many safety partners including police, councillors, safer communities partnerships, victim support, road safety, education and race and equality representatives.

All were urged to join Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service and make use of the new vehicle for joint community events.

The new truck will be a major boost to the fire service's current three year rolling programme of making home visits to do fire risk assessments and fit free smoke alarms to remote rural homes. The service introduced the scheme ten years ago into major towns resulting in a massive reduction in the number of house fires.

The Outreach Vehicle, funded by the Government, will be on supermarket car parks, village halls, community centres and schools as part of the ongoing fire safety campaign.

11th April, 2007