Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Deaf Awareness Week May 2-8

Throughout Deaf Awareness Week Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will be sharing a series of British Sign Language videos highlighting important safety advice.

The videos give vital safety advice using British Sign Language and subtitles to get the messages across to deaf communities in Essex.

Paul Pemberton, ECFRS Impairment & Disability Officer, has been working with deaf groups and organisations over the last year to ensure that the Service’s help and advice can reach, and be understood by, as many people as possible.

Paul has been learning sign language for a number of years and over the last 12 months he teamed up with profoundly deaf fire cadet Grace Gilmore to create the videos which cover important home and fire safety advice.

Paul said: “I have been in the role for just over a year now and we have made great strides in reaching the deaf community with our safety advice. In that time we have made contact with groups and clubs throughout Essex and forged fantastic links in the deaf community. We will continue working hard to make sure everyone can benefit from our advice.”

In the last year Paul has won a national award from deaf charity Signature and an Adult Achievement Award at the Heart Essex Heroes Awards for the work he has been doing delivering safety advice to deaf communities.

Paul said: “I look forward to the work we’ll be doing to create closer and closer links with deaf, and other hard to reach, communities in Essex.

“We provide home safety visits, including fitting free smoke alarms, to thousands of people every year. The Deaf Community can also take advantage of this offer and our technicians are able to fit specialist sensory alarms in the homes of those eligible to ensure that they too are afforded the protection smoke alarms offer.”

Over the course of Deaf Awareness Week ECFRS will be sharing sign language videos specially tailored safety advice on its Twittter and Facebook feeds.

A free home safety visit can be arranged  by filling in the form on our website here

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