Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Award-winning Firebreak programme recognised for innovation

Essex County Fire and Rescue's Firebreak programme has been recognised for its innovative approach by HM Prison and Probation Service and The European Social Fund.

Firebreak, a five day intervention programme delivered by operational firefighters, won the innovation category at the European Union Social Fund Awards which took place in Manchester on 23 October. 

The European Social Fund supports HM Prison & Probation Service’s projects to help offenders find work or training, with the activity delivered via third party contracts.

Working in partnership with the charity Shaw Trust, ECFRS' Community Development and Safeguarding Team created a bespoke Firebreak programme aimed at rehabilitation within the community through positive role models and mentors. 

This year’s Firebreak courses have all been delivered within prison walls and have received outstanding feedback from all involved.

Donna Finch MBE, Community Development and Safeguarding Manager said:

“For many years we have adapted our Firebreak to ensure it remains current and connected to the aim and objectives of partner agencies. 

"Firebreak within the prison walls has been an incredible success. The course not only addresses the dangers of cell fires but consequences of actions in emergency situations and offending. 

"We have worked closely with our PFCC colleagues to ensure that members of the Firebreak Team have received the appropriate restorative practices training.  The whole team, including Emma Callaghan from the office of the PFCC, should be extremely proud of their success and the difference the course has made to participants and the communities we serve."

The latest award is just one of many that Firebreak has won since its creation.

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