Programmes & Initiatives
Cut it Out
Through our Integrated Risk Management Plan, we aim to ensure that Strathclyde Fire & Rescue's responses are measured, evaluated and targeted at areas of greatest risk to our communities through robust Road Traffic Collision research.
A significant cause of death and injury amongst young adults is Road Traffic Collisions. In order to contribute to the national focus of reducing the numbers killed and injured on our roads, Strathclyde Fire & Rescue has produced a corporate Road Safety Programme that aims to assist in reducing deaths and injuries within the 17-25 year old age group. Chief Officer Brian Sweeney officially launched the ‘Cut it Out’ programme in April 2007 to coincide with the United Nations Road Safety Week, which focused on young drivers and young passengers.
So what is ‘Cut it Out’?
The Fire Reach programme has been operating within East Renfrewshire for a number of years. The programme is a partnership initiative by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, East Renfrewshire Council and Education Department. The programme, which was developed and designed in East Renfrewshire has been so effective that it is now being utilised by many other councils in conjunction with Strathclyde Fire & Rescue.
So what is Fire Reach?
The purpose of the scheme is to provide training and development opportunities to young people in East Renfrewshire, principally through Fire & Rescue Service related activities. The programme encourages the young people who participate to make the most of their physical and mental capabilities and to become more responsible, safer and caring members of their communities.
The main aim of these courses is to change attitudes and perceptions of young people by showing them life skills and responsibilities. This is achieved by providing an environment where team work and self discipline are promoted, by working through modules that include the essential elements of first aid and the use of operational equipment such as hose and ladders, all within a disciplined environment. Other essential elements of the course are punctuality, good attendance, general appearance and demeanour.
The Fire Reach programme is designed to compliment the Scottish Executive document “A Curriculum for Excellence” which states
“Our aspiration is to enable all children to develop their capacities as successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors to society”, by doing so we aim to give a “greater choice and opportunity, earlier, for young people, to help them realise their individual talents and to help close the opportunity gap by better engaging those who currently switch off from formal education too young.”
Courses are run on a regular basis from Clarkston Community Fire Station. Each course can accommodate ten participants, each of whom has been referred by the Education Department, Social Work Department or the Young Persons Services. Participants must be aged between 13 – 16 years. To date young people have been referred to the project for a variety of reasons, ranging from poor school attendance, poor behaviour, learning difficulties and low esteem to name a few. The course itself consists of a one week programme of team building, citizenship skills, physical and mental tasks culminating in a presentation of achievement and certificate, followed by one night per week for ten weeks to reinforce skills learned and developed in the one week intensive course.
The monitoring and evaluation of Fire Reach has highlighted very positive results and the tracking process has shown that the programme is having a long-term sustainable impact on many of its participants. For more details contact Clarkston Community Fire Station.