Jordan Neininger

SkillZONE to offer free safety lessons to Year 5 pupils

Primary schools in Gloucestershire are being invited to bring their Year 5 pupils for a free visit to the county’s only safety centre SkillZONE.

Between September this year and March 2016 SkillZONE will be offering all primary, junior and special school pupils in Year 5 the chance to visit the centre and learn more about road, home and fire safety and much more.

Skillzone, which opened three years ago, has an indoor village that gives groups the chance to experience a range of realistic scenarios in a bid to help young people and their families to stay safe.

Thousands of young people have already been to SkillZONE and evidence shows that they remember vitally important safety information that could help reduce accidents for years to come.

SkillZONE will be contacting primary schools during September inviting them to book a free trip for Year 5 students through its online booking system.

The work is linked to Gloucestershire’s new PINK Curriculum and supports the PSHE work taking place in schools.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said, “I am delighted that the county council has been able to support these valuable life skill lessons for every Year 5 child in Gloucestershire. These children will take away essential life skills which they can share with their families too.”

All school groups will be taught about road safety, fire safety and hazards in the home and teachers will be able to choose a further six scenarios covering areas such as water safety, online activity, criminal justice, personal safety or eating healthily.

To find out more information about SkillZONE visit

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Family open day at Gloucester South Fire Station and SkillZONE

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service will throw open its doors and welcome residents to their open day on Saturday 5th September.

A host of free activities will be on offer at SkillZONE and Gloucester South Fire Station on Tuffley Lane from 12 noon until 4pm.

The free event will feature a host of activities including fire and rescue displays, road safety activities and demonstrations.

The demonstrations will include rescues from smoke filled buildings and how cars are cut open following a road traffic collision.

Gloucestershire Telecare Service, Gloucestershire Constabulary, RNLI, Network Rail and British Transport Police will also be present, and children can meet police and prison dogs.

Visitors will also be able to learn more about SkillZONE, the newest safety centre in the country, and meet the volunteers who give safety advice to all sections of our community.

The Road Safety Partnership will be providing a number of displays and activities including go karting and free bike checks, so please bring your bikes along.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member responsible for community safety said, “Our fire station open days help us get some serious messages out there through a fantastic free day out for all the family. We want people to come along and have some fun while learning a few simple ways to stay safe.”

Stewart Edgar, chief fire officer for Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service said, “This event is an opportunity to visit our state of the art safety centre and your local fire station. You can also pick up some tips for staying safe and well.”

Follow SkillZONE on twitter @GlosSkillZONE 


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Fire and Rescue Services raising awareness of dangers of driver distraction

CFOA - CMYKFire and Rescue Services across the UK will be coming together between the 8th and 14th June to raise awareness of the dangers to young drivers of driving whilst distracted.

Services will be running events and activities as part of the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA)’s 2015 Road Safety Week highlighting that, as a risky activity, driving requires full attention at all times. Drivers who are distracted significantly increase their risk of causing a devastating crash – you are four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone while driving.

The target audience for this week is young drivers and their passengers – although driving distraction is a significant risk for all drivers, if combined with the inexperience of a newly-qualified driver it becomes an even more deadly cocktail.

Nigel Hutchinson, CFOA’s Road Safety Lead said: “Fire and Rescue Services see first-hand the devastation that road traffic collisions cause – and the life-changing impact they can have for young drivers, their passengers, and their families. In fact, road collisions are the biggest cause of death for young adults aged between 15 and 19. This is why we are keen to raise awareness of the dangers of distraction to this group, and to their friends and families – to help save lives.”

Distracted driving activities include things like using a mobile phone, texting, and eating. Using in-vehicle technologies (such as navigation systems) can also be sources of distraction.

The campaign will also be targeting messages about, and to, passengers. Passengers are another major source of distraction and have an important role to play in helping the driver to be able to concentrate on just driving.

A launch event for this year’s CFOA Road Safety Week will take place at Lady Lumley’s School in Pickering, North Yorkshire. The event will run from 9:30am until midday with a number of demonstrations and interactive events taking place for students to attend.

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Fire advice for a safer summer

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue service is asking local people to stay safe this summer as they make the most of the weather and enjoy the great outdoors.

Whether you are camping, cooking or exploring this summer, by following some top tips you can enjoy your adventures and stay safe.

The fire and rescue service is particularly keen to get the message out about safe summer campsite BBQs and are urging people to be aware of the hidden risks of carbon monoxide poisoning when using a disposable, gas or charcoal BBQ.

Carbon monoxide can’t be seen, smelt or tasted but can cause life-threatening affects, quickly and without warning.

Stewart Edgar, Chief Fire Officer for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue service said, “Some of this advice is common sense however from time to time we all need reminders. Whilst we do not want to stop anyone having fun on holiday we strongly encourage you to not take risks this summer.”

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said, “If you are planning an amazing summer exploring the county we encourage you to take a look at some safety advice first. It will help make your trip safer and more enjoyable in the long run if accidents can be avoided.”

More top tips for a safe summer include:


  • Allow at least 6m spacing between tents and caravans and ensure they are away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading
  • Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer
  • Keep cooking appliances away from the tent walls and never cook inside a small tent, near flammable materials or long grass; they can all set alight easily
  • Make sure you know how to escape by cutting your way out of the tent if there’s a fire
  • Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothing that’s on fire – stop, drop and roll
  • Don’t smoke inside tents


  • Fit and test a smoke alarm in your caravan
  • Take special care when cooking – don’t leave pans unattended
  • Turn off all appliances before you go out or to bed
  • Make sure ashtrays are made of a material that can’t burn or topple over -never smoke in bed
  • Don’t dry clothes over the stove
  • Remove any litter and rubbish near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading
  • Make sure the caravan is ventilated, and never block air vents, to avoid a build up of poisonous gases

BBQ safety

  • Never take a smouldering or lit BBQ into a tent, caravan or cabin. Even if you have finished cooking your BBQ should remain outside as it will still give off fumes for some hours after use
  • BBQ’s need to be lit with the correct lighter fuel and placed in a position where the fire does not spread to wooden fence, sheds or conifers. Never use petrol to light a fire
  • Never use a BBQ inside to keep you warm
  • Never leave a lit BBQ unattended or while sleeping
  • Place your cooking area well away from your tent. Always ensure there is an adequate supply of fresh air in the area where the BBQ is being used
  • Only use appliances in accordance with the operating instructions
  • Remember the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. If concerned, seek medical advice

Open Fires

If you must have an open fire:

  • It should be downwind, at least 10m from the tent
  • Clear dry vegetation, leaves, etc, to form a circle of earth around the fire
  • Build a stack that will collapse inwards whilst burning
  • Do not leave fires unattended
  • Make sure that fires are fully extinguished after use

If a fire should breakout:

  • Call the fire and rescue service and give the exact location
  • If necessary give a map reference
  • If this is not possible a landmark such as a farm or pub etc, will help them locate you

Grass and forest fires spread rapidly

  • Never throw cigarette ends out of a car window – they could start a fire and ruin surrounding countryside
  • Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin

If you discover a fire:

  • Do not be tempted to investigate
  • Leave the area as quickly as possible and call 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service
  • Do not return unless the fire and rescue service tells you that it is safe to do so

For more information on fire safety, please visit

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Bikers take part in safety workshops at SkillZONE

With the motorcycling season starting to rev up, Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership and Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue will launch its series of free safety workshops for bikers.

The workshops have been running during the motorcycling season since 2014 and so far more than 100 bikers have been trained in first aid and scene management.

Called ‘Biker Down’ the three hour sessions run monthly until September, for up to 25 people at a time and taking place between 6pm and 9pm at SkillZONE, the county’s safety education centre.

The course is aimed at all levels of motorcyclists from the seasoned biker to the young and inexperienced rider.

One biker who attended the Biker Down course said, “As a direct result of going on this course, I was able to go to the aid of a fellow biker who had been catapulted off of his bike by an old lady. He was in the road with lots of broken bones.

“I was confident to go straight to him and knew from the course what to do. When the paramedic arrived he needed to remove the helmet, but hadn’t been trained on how to do this, so I was able to show him how to do it. I was on the floor with him for over two and a half hours; the course gave me the ability and knowledge to do this comfortably”.

Cllr Will Windsor Clive, Cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said, “These are valuable workshops sharing knowledge that can help save lives. If you’ve recently dusted down your motorbike and wheeled it out of the garage for the summer season, please consider signing up for one of these free sessions.”

To book on one of the Biker Down workshops contact

For the latest road safety advice visit

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