Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


ECFRS named winner of Community Award

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has won the Community Award at the Essex Business Excellence Awards for our award-winning Firebreak programme.

The Service’s Community Development Team was named the winner of the highly contested accolade at Hylands House, Chelmsford, on Friday, September 23.

The Firebreak programme has historically worked with children and young people, giving them the skills to be active safety mentors within their schools or colleges.

Over the years, the team have specially designed courses which work with organisations throughout Essex to help them achieve outstanding results. 

Firebreak courses have been designed to work with the long term-unemployed, victims, perpetrators and mentors of domestic abuse, to reduce re-offending rates and anti-social behaviour incidents in Essex. 

In addition the course has been used for critical thinking skills for gifted and talented students, meaning the course reflects the diverse communities we serve.

Participants taking part in Firebreak learn the importance of teamwork, responsibility and self-dependence while improving their confidence through a series of challenging tasks including using fire service equipment and learning first aid.

Donna Finch, Community Development and Safeguarding Manager, attended the awards ceremony with members of her team.

She said: “We’re extremely proud to have been named the winners of such a prestigious award for our Firebreak programme, which has achieved outstanding results in helping people to improve their lives and ensuring communities are safer.

“Our Firebreak programme proves that when children, young people and adults are given the right opportunity they can, and will, transform their lives.  We aspire to inspire.

“I would like to thank everyone involved, from instructors to the whole team within Community Development.  This award is testament to their hard work and professionalism and unquestionable dedication.”

In 2015, Firebreak won a world award from Down Syndrome International for its innovative and diverse work with its members.

Partners supporting the Firebreak programme include the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Worshipful Company of Firefighters, Anglian Community Trust and so many more.

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