At a specially-arranged meeting, Macclesfield MP, David Rutley, joined the Chair of Cheshire Fire Authority, Councillor Bob Rudd, and newly-appointed Chief Fire Officer, Mark Cashin, to highlight the vital work undertaken by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service in Macclesfield and across Cheshire.
At the meeting, David was updated on Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s innovative Safe and Well programme, which launched in February 2017. The Programme, which has been developed in conjunction with local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across Cheshire, is targeted at those over 65 and people who are referred to the fire service by partner agencies because they are considered to be at a particular risk. The programme sees people receive free visits from Cheshire firefighters and advocates provide far more than the traditional fire safety and smoke alarm advice.
Staff have received additional training to provide advice on slips, trips and falls prevention during Safe and Well Visits, as well as training on screening for atrial fibrillation, a heart condition which can cause strokes and heart attacks. The visits also encourage people to use a free bowel cancer screening kit, offer additional advice on staying warm in winter and support to those who wish to stop smoking or reduce their alcohol consumption.
In the 12 months to April 2018, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service conducted 42,237 Safe and Well visits across Cheshire. These have resulted in over 3,000 referrals to health agencies or local authorities for further support or treatment. David was also pleased to hear that Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is collaborating with its emergency service partners and establishing joint back-office services with Cheshire Constabulary, and developing shared premises, such as the emergency services hub on the site of Poynton Fire Station.
Commenting on the Safe and Well programme, Councillor Rudd said, “Our Safe and Well programme has won several national awards, and justifiably so. As well as helping to keep people safe from fire, our visits are having a real impact on health outcomes across Cheshire. The visits have - in some cases literally - saved lives and helped residents get the support or treatment they need to prevent a significant injury or illness.”
Speaking after the meeting, David said, “It was great to meet with Bob and Mark, to support the impressive and innovative work undertaken by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service to promote fire safety advice and much more to now help improve health outcomes. The commitment and bravery of fire officers across our area is inspiring and instrumental in helping to keep local residents safe and well. I will continue to support this vital work going forward, and extend my thanks to all those who work in our fire service locally for their dedicated public service.”