Hundreds of Shropshire schoolchildren took part in this year's fire safety quiz resulting in one school being declared the winner out of 37 school entries. The Marches School team of four year 7s from Oswestry won through to take the title in an exciting final involving ten school teams.
They were Newport High School, Thomas Adams in Wem, Community College of Bishops Castle, Oldbury Wells, Blessed Robert Johnson, Ercall Wood, Idsall, Lakelands and the Wakeman School.
Quiz organizer Lynn Hosking, Youth Officer with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "It has been a truly wonderful event this year with 37 schools taking part in the original heats. The children have really enjoyed it and taken away some valuable, possibly lifesaving skills."
Runners up for the event were a team from Blessed Robert Johnson Catholic College in Wellington. During the final held at Telford fire station, youngsters took part in a "get out alive" event where they activated a smoke alarm, got low under a smoke layer using a parachute and made an emergency call to the Fire Service.
This emphasised key messages to "get out, stay out and get the fire brigade out." It also stressed the important lifesaving message that working smoke alarms save lives," said Lynn Hosking.
All the county's 11-year-olds learned a wide range of safety issues including how to stay safe with fire, water, on the roads and railways, how to deal with school bullies, facts on alcohol and tobacco, and what to do in an emergency. A total of four regional heats took place across the county with the winners and runners up taking part in the grand final.
Pupils in year 7 have all been studying hundreds of facts, figures and expert advice compiled into a Be Cool Be Safe magazine and accessed on the county fire service website at www.shropshirefire.gov.uk
Road safety officers', police, fire, Community Safety Partnerships, and alcohol and drug professionals all contributed to the information.
"Pupils learn a lot of useful information through the classroom project which helps make them aware about how to stay safe. These are life skills they have been taught and they have had a lot of fun competing against other schools."
This year a record number of schools took part in the event which has grown in interest across Shropshire secondary schools since 2001 when 16 schools took part. Fire personnel were helped by police, including cadets, a staff nurse and paramedic. Firefighters have been into a number of schools to carry out quiz sessions with year 7 students as part of fire safety education.
Chief Fire Officer Alan Taylor presented a cheque for Â£500 to the winning team for the quiz which was funded by the Crime Reduction Partnerships. Children received gift vouchers, certificates and medals.