A PROJECT that has been passing on crucial safety advice to Hartlepool school children for 18 years celebrated its birthday.
The Crucial Crew scheme, which is held at Hartlepool Power Station, has passed on life-saving tips and advice to more than 21,000 youngsters since it started in 1996.
Project partners, including the fire, police and coastguard services, joined scheme leaders and civic dignitaries for a celebration as Crucial Crew launched for another year.
Simon Parsons, director of Hartlepool Power Station, said: “Crucial Crew is a fundamental way of learning.
“The way the partners put the information across is absolutely superb. But it only works thanks to the support of all the agencies involved, and the children only get out of it what is put into the project so I must say a big thank you to them.”
The Crucial Crew project presents 10 and 11-year-olds with various mock scenarios and learn how best to deal with them.
Training rooms at the power station have been transformed into a bedroom, building site and scene of a road accident to help the messages sink in.
Phil Wilson, chairman of Crucial Crew, who introduced the scheme to Hartlepool, said there was proof the project works.
He told how several years ago, a 14-year-old boy raised the alarm after his home caught fire to get his family out safely.
Mr Wilson, a retired police officer, said: “It gives the children the knowledge and life skills that they wouldn’t be taught in school.”
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright, who showed his support by attending, said: “The Crucial Crew team do it in a really eye-catching and interesting way.
“All credit to all the agencies involved, the volunteers and the power station and long may it continue.”
St Joseph’s pupils Tegan Thompson and Wilf Brown, both 10, presented a certificate to Simon Parsons in recognition of the power station’s support of the project.