Card collection to wow Shropshire children

Caitlin Riley and Euan Manning, year 6 pupils at Newport Junior School, get the first look at the new fire cards to collect with Kate Hancocks, from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

A new fire safety initiative which gives Shropshire schoolchildren the chance to collect an exclusive series of "fire cards" is being launched by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service this summer.

Depicting an exciting range of fire fighting vehicles and equipment, the eye catching cards also carry important fire safety messages for boys and girls across Shropshire.
Community fire safety officers are hoping the cards will become collectors' items among the county's schoolchildren.

The idea came from Community Fire Safety Officer Kate Hancocks when she initiated a scheme to go on the beat with police Community Support Officers which has led to a reduction in arson attacks on Shropshire housing estates.

"While carrying out foot patrols with the Community Support Officers I noticed that the police initiative of the ‘Cop Cards’ was a great opportunity for children and young people to interact with the police, while also a chance for the police to build a rapport with them," said Kate,

"There are an exciting range of fire vehicles and equipment such as hydraulic cutting gear that children will be interested to learn about and at the same time we can get over vitally important fire safety messages."

Year 6 pupils from Newport Junior School are the first to see the must have new fire cards launched by Kate Hancocks from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to engage with the children and young people and to give them something to keep with valuable advice and information.”

The collection includes a series of 12 playing size cards featuring vehicles such as the Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) based at Shrewsbury Fire Station which allows fire fighters to get to heights of 32 metres to tackle larger fires. It also has details about rescue pumps, breathing apparatus, the rescue boat, fire control which receives 999 calls and fire fighters clothing.

Every card includes fire safety information on the dangers of matches and lighters, what to do if fire breaks out, the importance of wearing seat belts and bike helmets and wearing reflective clothing at night, and the dangers of swimming in rivers. They also remind youngsters about how every home should have smoke alarms which are tested weekly and the importance of knowing how to escape from your home if a fire breaks out.

The complete card collection forms a map of Shropshire on the reverse with all the county's fire stations displayed.

Members of the brigade 's Safety in the Community Team will distribute the cards while on patrol and at fire safety events.

"I remember collecting the World Cup Panini Sticker Album when I was younger, and I remember the enthusiasm I had to collect all of them. This is something we want Shropshire’s children and young people to have while also learning at the same time," said Station Manager Guy Williams.

Card collections have always been popular over the years from images on cigarette cards to sports stars and the 1990's fad for Pokemon.

8th July, 2013