Telford school win county fire quiz

Chief Fire Officer Alan Taylor with winning pupils, left to right, Joel Treharne, Billy Powell, Amber Chapman and Katie Mainwaring

Wrockwardine Wood Arts College has won the annual fire safety quiz organised by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service beating ten other Shropshire schools to take the coveted 2008 title.

A total of 33 of the county's senior schools originally entered the popular competition entitled Be Cool Be Safe which delivers important safety messages to 6,000 year 7 pupils each year.

Wholetime firefighters from 14 watches "adopted" a senior school, regularly visiting classrooms, to get over fire safety and potentially lifesaving skills.

Teacher Rachael Plumridge, whose school is the first in Telford to win the quiz, thanked Green watch firefighters for supporting the team. Pupils had learned what causes fires and how they can use escape plans and smoke alarms to stay safe.

"Our year 7s are now more aware of safety. They had been preparing at home using their fire safety booklets. They enjoyed working with real firefighters and it means more coming from them than from their normal teachers. It is so nice to see such brilliant students rewarded. When we returned to school the team were praised by all the staff and students which was lovely. Everyone was celebrating.

"We have all gained a lot from entering the quiz. I recommend every school take part," she added.

Competition organiser Lynn Hosking said fire crews got over key safety information to "some challenging young people" in schools in Shropshire's more deprived areas.

Hundreds of 11-years-olds from all 33 schools learned hundreds of facts, figures and expert advice compiled into a Be Cool Be Safe magazine and which can be accessed on the county fire service website at

This included safety facts on fire, water, on the roads and railways, how to deal with school bullies, facts on alcohol, drugs and tobacco, and what to do in an emergency.

"In September 2007 we launched our structured education programme. Through education we can and do influence young people to make safer informed choices which reduces fires, injuries and deaths and makes our children safer adults for the future," said Lynn, the brigade's youth officer.

The Wrockwardine Wood team won the top £500 prize with a 40 point lead over second placed Lakelands, of Ellesmere, with Shrewsbury's Priory School placed third. Others schools in the final were Rhyn Park Oswestry; Newport High school; Blessed Robert Johnson; Sutherland; Lord Silkin; Oldbury Wells, Bridgnorth, and Bishops Castle Community College.

Teams of four took part in five rounds including rapid fire questions on fire and general safety. They had to unravel a fire safety poster riddle and then take part in a "get out alive" race to activate a smoke alarm, run low as if in a smoke filled room and get into a kiosk to dial 999. The event culminated in a relay race to put on firefighter kit at the quiz held at Telford Fire Station.

Chief Fire Officer Alan Taylor was on hand to present each team with a certificate and regional winners' medal in the quiz backed by Community Safety Partnerships.

23rd April, 2008