The North East-based fire station is the only emergency service in the country to have received a nomination for this year’s Alzheimer’s Society Awards.
A fire service in the North East has been recognised for their support of the dementia community by being shortlisted in the Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year category at this year’s Alzheimer’s Society awards.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) created a Dementia Friendly Charter and has taken steps to improve its links with the North-East’s Dementia Action Alliance and the Alzheimer’s Society.
Keith Wanley, area manager for operations at CDDFRS, said:
‘We are very pleased to have been nominated for this special award in recognition of our commitment to improving engagement with those who live with dementia.
‘As a fire service we are in a privileged position where we meet people of all ages and from all walks of life as part of our role protecting the community.
‘The number of people affected by dementia is increasing so it’s important that we learn as much as we can about it and find out the best way to help and care for those living with the condition.’
Fire safety can be a real issue for those living with dementia in their community, as they may be at greater risk for fires if memory problems cause them to leave cooking items unattended, leave cigarettes burning or struggle to understand electrical items such as microwaves.
The CDDFRS offer safety and wellbeing visits to residents in the area and firefighters continue to visit North-East homes to fit smoke alarms and offer advice.
During these visits, firefighters are also able to assess residents and offer referrals to them and their families to contact the Alzheimer’s Society and health partners.
The CDDFRS is one of a number of fire and rescue services who are working to ensure all their firefighters receive dementia training and understand the particular risks that people with dementia can face when it comes to fire safety.