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PARTNERSHIP GIVES ADDICTS FIRE ADVICE AND MEDICINE CABINETS

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Cleveland Fire Brigade will be the first in the country to launch an innovative multi-agency programme to increase ...
Cleveland Fire Brigade will be the first in the country to launch an innovative multi-agency programme to increase home safety for drug and alcohol users and their families.

The pilot scheme, which will be run in Hartlepool, will be launched on Monday 21 August at the town's Community Drugs Centre.

The initiative is designed to increase fire safety, home security and in particular reduce the potential risk of children having access to medicine by providing secure medication cabinets.

The brigade has teamed up with the Safer Hartlepool Partnership who has provided funding for the scheme, which will be spent on the medicine cabinets along with other safety equipment to reduce the risk of injury or death from preventable causes.

Les Jones, community safety manager said: 'Cleveland Fire Brigade is devoted to not only reducing the risk of fire but improving all aspects of safety in its community. This initiative is the first of its kind in the UK and hopefully the first of many.

'The brigade has just employed Lyndsay Galbraith as a drugs and alcohol advocate, who will be dedicated to raising fire safety awareness for this specialist group and working with partners to take this initiative forward.'

Ed Parrish, Cleveland Fire Brigade's community safety liaison manager, said: 'Working with the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, DISC (specialist drug outreach workers), Cleveland police, New Deals for Communities (NDC), Safe in Tees Valley and Endeavour home improvements gives us a fantastic opportunity to reduce the risks in our communities.

'We would like drug and alcohol users and their families to either get in contact with us directly, through their own drug treatment programmes or by coming along to the launch to find out more about the free scheme, get safety advice or sign up for a referral. Everyone will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence.

'During the short home visit, brigade personnel will discuss fire safety, fit smoke alarms and other specialist equipment such as flame retardant bedding or throws if needed, and refer them for a secure medicine cabinet if they are eligible.'

Lynne Massam, DISC project manager, said: 'We have worked closely with other organisations to support this initiative and are keen to continue to be a very active partner in its implementation.

'They will also be offered a security check where home security officers will give advice on crime prevention and check if any window or door locks are needed in the home.'

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