West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) is holding a series of events this week in the run up to International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) this Saturday (December 3).
Firefighters from Haywards Heath are holding a dedicated event at the fire station in Mill Green Road this Friday (December 2), from 10am to 4pm.
A spokesman from WSFRS said people with disabilities and disability groups, are invited to join the crew at the event to participate in activities they ‘may not usually get the opportunity to do’.
The day’s events will include a tour of the station and a look around the fire engines and other appliances, a chance to talk about fire and road safety, and the opportunity to participate in small drills, wear fire kit and use a fire service hose.
Meanwhile, firefighters from East Grinstead will be visiting Step by Step this week, a school in East Grinstead, that provides specialised teaching for pupils on the autistic spectrum, to interact with the students and provide information and advice on fire safety.
Gary Waters, watch manager at East Grinstead, said: “Living with a long-term disability creates challenges that many of us could never comprehend and we are delighted to be supporting IDPwD.
“Working with people with disabilities is a long-term initiative that I am proud to say our crews across the county wholly embrace, and IDPwD provides an excellent opportunity to reach many more people facing the day-to-day burden of living with a disability.”
Crews from East Grinstead have also been working with the Queen Victoria Hospital to support the rehabilitation of soldiers who have undergone amputations, having suffered serious injuries in combat.
The spokesman said firefighters offer to spend time with those admitted to the hospital, whether that be organising a trip out, social nights on the ward, or having a chat and the scheme ‘aims to boost soldiers’ morale through simply bringing likeminded men and women together’.
Firefighters and volunteers will be working alongside staff from the Red Cross to ensure that everyone has access to a wide range of information.
IDPwD aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of disability and celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disability.
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