Bid to curb fire call-outs

FIRE chiefs are hoping a community scheme aimed at youngsters during the Easter break will help reduce the number of 999 calls they get during the holidays.

Cleveland Fire Brigade has teamed up with Cleveland Police, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Countryside Team and outreach team Groundwork to provide activities in Seaton Carew which aim to reduce fires and anti-social behaviour.

Fire brigade figures showed last year crews spent 15 hours attending grass fires on the sand dunes at Seaton Carew – nine of which were during the Easter holidays.

The fires caused significant damage to the dunes, which is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

But it is hoped that a series of sporting events taking place near the sand dunes will help keep youngsters occupied.

Peter Bradley, community liaison and arson reduction co-ordinator at the Cleveland Fire Brigade, helped organised the event.

He said: “Cleveland Fire Brigade, Cleveland Police and staff from the countryside team have already been talking to pupils at three local schools in the area to speak to them about anti-social behaviour and the impact it could have on the community, the environment and wildlife as well as the repercussions of appliances attending unnecessary fires.

“We are hoping that by visiting the schools and giving young people something to do over the Easter holidays, this will help reduce the number of fires and any disruption to the community.”

Cleveland Fire Brigade will set up a mobile urban games arena behind the bus terminal on the seafront at Seaton Carew on Wednesday, April 20, and Friday, April 27, between 12pm-4pm, and also on Thursday, April 21, and Thursday, April 28, between 5pm-7.30pm where young people aged 12-19 are invited to join in football and volleyball sessions.

Also on Wednesday, April 20, the Countryside Team and Groundwork will be running a variety of games and activities for younger people on the beach, while on Wednesday, April 27, the activities will be held at Seaton Park where the Countryside Team and Groundwork will be joined by staff from the council’s sports and recreation team and the Friends of Seaton Park.