The programme has involved 26 members of the fire service from across the
region who have volunteered to become qualified firesetter counsellors. Its
aim is to address the problems of playing with fire and firesetting
behaviour in young people.
Where young people are identified as firesetters the counsellors are there
to provide appropriate counselling to try and solve the problem. The scheme
was set up in 1996 and has a very high success rate of 95%.
The key to the programme is to identify the behaviour at an early stage.
There have been approximately 140 referrals to the team to date. In addition
to helping to reduce fire damage the scheme has possibly also prevented
The scheme has involved social services, the youth justice team, Suffolk
police, teachers, parents and the area child protection committee.
Ian Shakespeare, fire safety officer said: 'This beacon award is seen as
recognition of the hard work and dedication of our firesetting counselling
team. Over the last five years the team has gained knowledge and experience
in Suffolk and nationally through our national fire service network. I am
very pleased that our efforts have been rewarded in this way.'