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Merseyside see the largest reduction in accidental dwelling fires and only 1 fire death recorded over last year!

MERSEYSIDE Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) are praising their staff and the communities of Merseyside following the release of annual figures showing record reductions. On 2 April 2024 MFRS revealed that accidental fires in the home, on Merseyside, have fallen by an amazing 15% over the last year, and 20% over a 2 year period with the lowest number of fire deaths ever recorded.

Through the efforts of the Service and its incredible teams, this year only 1 family have had to live with the loss of a loved one, something that would have been unimaginable only 10 years ago.

Figures released today show that in Merseyside in the year to 31 March 2024, there were 663 accidental fires in the home compared to 780 for the same period a year earlier. Only 10 years ago, the Service responded to 1153 such fires with today's figures representing a 43% decrease over that period.

Area Manager Mark Thomas, Head of Prevention at MFRS said:- "In an average day, Firefighters and Prevention Teams will visit 170 homes across Merseyside, giving fire safety advice to occupiers and fitting lifesaving smoke alarms for those people who are most vulnerable to fire. By talking to people in their own homes and demonstrating what good fire safety looks like, our teams are making a hugely positive difference."

Mr Thomas added:- "Our downturn in fires in the home is unprecedented across the UK and without doubt linked to the determination and professionalism of our Firefighters and Prevention Teams; it is because of them, helped by the diligence of the public of Merseyside, that we have collectively been able to reduce the number of fires in the home, making sure more people stay alive and safe from fire. Only 10 years ago, 16 people died in house fires. We know more than anyone the devastating impact that the loss of a loved 1 can have on a family and wider communities, and we will be relentless in our drive to reduce fire deaths to zero. Our staff will continue to work with our communities and our partners to find those who are most vulnerable, protect them and make sure we continue to drive down fires as much as possible."

For a free Home Fire Safety Check, call:- 08007315958. Many people will also qualify for free smoke alarms. For an online Home Safety Check:- SafeLincs.Co.UK.

The team raised over £10,000 for the Railway Children by cycling through India's famous Golden Triangle

A team from Avanti West Coast have swapped trains for bikes to raise over £10,000 for charity by completing a gruelling 450km ride across India.  6 Avanti West Coast staff cycled for 6 days from Agra to Jaipur in aid of the Railway Children Charity.

Taking on the challenge were:- Rob Taylor, Food and Beverage Lead; Natalie Popat, Birmingham International Station Manager; Jim Lindsey, Business Intelligence Manager; Ryan Evans, Planning Manager; and Katie Smith and Kathy Earl, both Train Managers. They joined 8 other riders from the railway industry for the fundraiser.

The route, which was through India's famous Golden Triangle, provided the team with breathtaking views, a unique experience to visit the towns and villages of Rajasthan, as well as the opportunity see 1st hand how the Railway Children money is being used to support young children in the country.

They also visited 1 of the railway help centres; set up by the Railway Children; at 3 of busiest Stations in the Indian capital New Delhi, where volunteers work in partnership with the local Police to scout for vulnerable children running away from home on trains. They are then reunited with their parents or taken into care if their family can't be found. The money raised by the Avanti West Coast group equals the amount needed to run 1 of these centres for 4 months.

Children at a School set up by the charity were also presented with pencils and colourings by the Ride India team.

Speaking after the ride, Rob Taylor said:- "It was an incredible and humbling experience to be a part of. While cycling through the villages on the route, we were greeted by so many happy locals who waved and wanted pictures with us. Seeing 1st hand the work that the Railway Children do, really brought home the importance of the money we have raised from our cycle challenge, which in itself was tough yet really enjoyable. I encourage others to get involved with future opportunities!"

Cat Howourth, Events Manager at Railway Children said:- "I had the honour of supporting the Ride India challengers and I am in awe of their grit and determination to not only complete the challenge, but to raise as much for Railway Children as possible in doing so; all with the biggest smiles on their faces! They faced 32 degree heat, driving rain and thick fog, whist dodging camels, cycling round goats and stopping for cattle along the 450km route. It costs around £28,000 to fund our entire project across Delhi Sarai Rohilla railway which is where we visited as part of the trip so this money makes a considerable difference to the work we do."

The sponsorship pages for the riders are still open for donations:-

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