Making the wider connections with the emergency services

October 2012

Here we outline some of the ways in which people working in child accident prevention can build connections with the emergency services to develop safety partnerships, support national prevention campaigns and to build on their experience, visibility and influence in the local community.

The impact and influence of respected frontline community safety ‘champions’ can make a powerful contribution to the development of local programmes and strategies for reducing childhood injury. With high visibility and first-hand experience of the consequences of serious accidental injury, the emergency services and related community support teams are key partners in this work. There is good evidence of their role as ‘injury prevention messengers’:

  • police and fire incident data play an important part in building up the local and national picture of accidental injury and its causes
  • information and press releases from the emergency services provide a ‘real time’ snapshot of incidents which often become the raw material for news reports
  • prevention messages given by the emergency services in the context of real-life events can cut through media ‘noise’ and public indifference
  • emergency service membership of local strategic bodies which can lend strong support to safety advocacy and collaborative efforts.

Making local contacts

Multi-agency partnership working involving emergency services and community organisations is well-established and takes many forms. Local contacts can be made through:

  • national campaigns such as Child Safety Week
  • individual service campaigns and initiatives which will be responsive to local needs and injury trends
  • emergency service involvement with schools, the curriculum and youth intervention projects
  • LASER logoLASER (Learning About Safety by Experiencing Risk) events, which take place in many areas of the country in permanent interactive safety centres and temporary locations
  • special events and open days which promote prevention awareness and understanding through positive personal encounters and learning opportunities, such as fire and rescue service road traffic collision extrication demonstrations.

Plans and priorities

Local plans and priorities for the emergency services are considered through public consultation and as part of local partnership working arrangements, including:

For the key issues affecting community safety and protection, close partnership working between the emergency services and local authorities is essential. For example, the Local Government Group has led the development of guidance on fire safety in purpose-built flats. Partners involved in this work included the fire and rescue service, local authorities, private sector landlords, management agents, and housing and environmental health professionals.

Both the police and the fire and rescue service have national strategies for working with children and young people. Ambulance services in some areas are helping to run injury prevention programmes and to develop new types of services such as minor injuries units. They are also involved in increasing awareness among young people about the effects of alcohol.

Resources and guidance

Police service

The following websites include national professional contacts and information on children and young people’s work.

Fire and rescue service

  • Fire Kills logoDirectgov has news of the latest national Fire Kills campaign, together with general fire prevention advice and information about keeping children safe from fire.
  • For policy guidance for the fire and rescue service on community safety, together with an evaluation of Home Fire Risk Check and Fire Prevention Grant programmes, visit the fire and rescue section of the Communities & Local Government website.
  • For national professional contacts and information on the fire and rescue service children and young people’s strategy, visit the Chief Fire Officers Association website.

Ambulance service

  • The NHS Confederation website includes information about the Ambulance Service Network.
  • The NHS Choices website has links to all ambulance service trusts.
  • Air ambulance teams also have a high profile within the community responding to a variety of serious incidents and injuries.
Updated June 2013