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Thousands of Elderly and Vulnerable Residents Helped During Covid-19

Date : 19 August 2020


Elderly and Vulnerable
Elderly and Vulnerable

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has been busy helping thousands, since the pandemic struck earlier in the year.

The Safer Communities team, alongside crews, have been supporting both the elderly and vulnerable residents, reaching 7,500 across East Sussex, and the City of Brighton & Hove.

Numerous telephone calls and interactions have been made to confirm that these vulnerable residents have working smoke alarms, as well as offering home safety advice. 

The team has also provided additional advice and guidance on Covid-19 and when requested have arranged further assistance. 

Acting Strategic Community Safety Manager, Lisa Priestman, said:“ We would like to remind residents that we are still here to help. East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is committed to keeping residents safe, despite the current challenges with Covid-19.  As a result of Covid-19, we are temporarily changing how we deliver our Free Home Safety Visits to the community, across our Service area. However, we still want to ensure that, even in these challenging times, residents still have access to vital information to keep them safe from fire in the home.”

Social distancing measures, put in place by the Government, means that home visits will be limited to the most vulnerable within the community bot over the phone advice is available for all residents.

“To reduce the risk to you and your family we are carrying out special virtual visits over the phone (telephone assessments) where we can talk to you about the fire risk in your home, offer fire safety advice, as well as explain a what an ‘escape plan” is and how safety checks, as part of a bedtime routine can help keep residents safe.”

To reduce the risk to you and our staff, we are now offering this Telephone Risk Assessment where we can talk to you about the fire risk in your home, after which we may: 

  • Post you further information leaflets AND / OR
  • Post you smoke alarms to fit yourself OR
  • If the risk is high and no one in your home is able to fit a smoke alarm we will take protective precautions and fit a smoke alarm for you in your home.
  • Items such as alarms and fire retardant safety bedding can all be delivered by our helpful team, making homes safer.

Please feel free to contact us, on behalf of a friend or relative, but we would just ask that you get their permission first and let them know that we will ask them a number of questions. 

If you would like to find out more about a Home Safety Visit, you can either: 

A member of our Community Safety Team will then be in contact to arrange a suitable time for a telephone chat. They will ask a few simple questions regarding your property and the occupants.  This will then help us determine how we will assist.

We also have lots of information and tips on keeping safe at home on our website. Please click here: https://www.esfrs.org/your-safety/safer-homes/], including leaflets in different languages.

Covid19 Support Call Scheme

The Fire Service visits over 10,000 people each year to carry out fire home safety checks. This includes many visits to older people who are living alone and may be feeling vulnerable at this time. Some people may have no-one to talk to, or no-one to support them should the need arise.

A call scheme has been set up whereby Fire Service staff make contact with people who have previously received a home safety visit asking them if they are OK, and if they need any support with essential tasks or would like a regular befriending phone call. If someone needs support, the Fire Service is linking in with local community hubs and other community groups around the County.

It is also a great opportunity to find out if their smoke alarms are working. A telephone assessment call is also offered so that we can update them on safety advice and also make them aware of other services that may be available to them.

To contact the Fire Service Covid19 support call scheme ring: 01323 462299 or email: covidvolunteeringsussex@esfrs.org

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