NSW Fire Brigades launches 'Adopt a School' program in the Illawarra

Published: 27th September 2007

The NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) has launched a major initiative to improve fire safety in schools across the Illawarra through a program which will enhance links between local fire stations and schools.

Letters have been sent to over 100 schools in the Illawarra area encouraging them to take part in the Adopt a School Program which will see firefighters visit schools more regularly.

The NSWFB delivers three main programs in NSW schools: PreED and FireED which teach young children basic fire safety skills, and RescuED, which aims to reduce the number of car accidents among young drivers.

Under the Adopt a School Program, the NSWFB will continue to provide its fire safety educational programs for students, as well as help schools identify and eliminate potential fire hazards and improve evacuation procedures.

NSWFB Illawarra Acting Zone Commander Superintendent David Lewis, said: "The main purpose of the Adopt a School Program is to build on the links which already exist between the NSWFB and schools in the Illawarra area to create a safer school environment. 

"Firefighters often provide advice and assistance on fire prevention matters whilst at schools and the Adopt a School Program will introduce a more structured approach to risk management with regular inspections and a better flow of fire prevention and safety information to schools."

The program has been welcomed by the NSW Department of Education and Training.

Graeham Kennedy, Regional Director of the NSW Department of Education and Training's Illawarra and South East Region, said: "We are encouraging all schools in the Illawarra area to get behind the NSW Fire Brigades Adopt a School Program.

"We believe this program will be very beneficial for both staff and students.  It will improve knowledge of fire safety, establish better communications between schools and their local fire station and ultimately it will reduce the number of fires on school properties."

If the Illawarra Adopt a School Program proves a success it will be extended to other areas throughout NSW. 

"The NSWFB, like the broader community, has a vested interest in our schools being safe and secure environments for our children," Acting Superintendent Lewis said.

"The introduction of this program is an opportunity for firefighters to continue to contribute to the safety and welfare of our community."