Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Firebreak named awards finalist

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has reached the final of the Business Excellence Awards for its Firebreak programme.

The Service’s Community Development Team is in the running for the Community Award after impressing judges with our award-winning Firebreak scheme, which has helped hundreds of young people and adults transform their lives.

ECFRS has specially designed Firebreak courses to work closely with victims, perpetrators and mentors of domestic abuse, to reduce re-offending and anti-social behaviour rates in Essex and to help the job prospects of the long term unemployed.

The programme also helps improve the lives of people affected by drug and alcohol misuse, social isolation and provide help for other hard to reach members of our communities.

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.

Senior Divisional Officer Julian Ashley, Head of Safer Communities, said: “We’re extremely proud of how the Community Development Team has expanded the scope of the Firebreak scheme to reach out to our diverse organisations and provide opportunities for children, youths and adults to reach their full potential whatever their background or circumstances.

“Whether that is at school, at home, the work place or within the community.

“Firebreak has evidenced outstanding results proving that when people are given the right opportunity they can, and will, turn their lives around for the better. “

In 2015, ECFRS Firebreak won a global 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 many more.

The winner of the Community Award will be announced at an awards ceremony at Hylands House, in Chelmsford, on September 23.

Anyone interested in finding out any more information about Firebreak should contact a member of the team on firebreak@essex-fire.gov.uk.

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