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Fire training for people with learning disabilities

In training: People with learning difficulties are learning to understand the risks of fire
In training: People with learning difficulties are learning to understand the risks of fire

MID and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Speech and Language Therapy Department have teamed up to help people with learning disabilities in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire better understand the risks of fire, prevention and what to do in the event of a fire. Fire Officer Sean Lloyd and Speech and Language Therapist Yvonne Bruton Miller were tasked with ensuring potentially life-saving information was available in a user friendly format.

The final result is an easy read leaflet and presentation pack, reviewed and approved by a group of people with learning disabilities. The easy read leaflet uses alternative forms of communication including symbols, photos and plain English. The presentation pack includes objects of reference to support understanding and learning and provides and opportunity for service users to view first hand damaged sockets, fire alarms and even the protective clothing worn by fire fighters.

Sean and Yvonne recently launched the easy read leaflet and presentation pack at Bryn Y Wawr Residential Home in Llandeilo. Sean Lloyd, Watch Manager Community Safety Carmarthenshire at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Mandatory training for managers and staff is essential but service users are often excluded from essential training but now we have this presentation and training developed in partnership with the Carmarthenshire Total Communication group.

The feedback from staff and residents has been great and on request we’ll be coming back in twelve months for a refresher course!” Yvonne Bruton Miller, Speech and Language Therapist at Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “This has been a fantastic project to work on and the Community Team for Learning Disabilities (CTLD) and fire service will continue to work together to ensure all service users linked to the CTLD are automatically offered free fire safety checks through the individual’s annual review process.”