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Dexter Dog learning aid to support Fire Safety Education Programme in Derbyshire for second year running

The new DFRS Dexter mascot launches the second year of the Dexter learning aids with an event at Breadsall CofE VC Primary School

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) has relaunched its ‘Dexter Dog’ soft toy learning aid to help educate more than 13,000 school children across the county about fire safety in the home. 

The initiative, which forms part of DFRS’ ongoing education package to engage year two students in a fun and interactive way, kicked off for a second year running with an event at Breadsall CofE VC Primary School on Wednesday 19 June.  

Representatives from DFRS were joined by Breadsall pupils for the event, which also featured the unveiling of the Service’s new Dexter mascot in the next phase of the project to promote fire safety through community education. 

The relaunch follows a successful first year for the scheme which saw hundreds of Dexter learning aids delivered to schools across Derby City and Derbyshire County alongside an accompanying worksheet encouraging children to work with Dexter as they learn about various aspects of home fire safety. 

Kay Simcox, Risk Reduction Manager for Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: “The DFRS Prevention team are always looking for innovative ways to promote fire safety education and awareness to our school age children.  

“The Dexter Dog soft toy, sponsored by Solvay, has proven to be fantastic in support of this by providing the Year 2 children, along with their parents and guardians, the mechanisms to test their smoke alarms, agree on escape plans and spot fire risks in the home.   

“The project will be rolled out to a number of other schools in Derby and Derbyshire from September 2024, with the vision that all year 2 children will have access to this learning aid.” 

The Dexter learning aids and mascot are both based on their namesake, former Fire Investigation Dog Dexter who worked with handler Dave Coss across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire before hanging up his boots in 2022.  

If your school is yet to request their Dexter Dog, please email ksimcox@derbys-fire.gov.uk before the end of the school year to ensure delivery for September 2024. 

Currently, the soft toys are only available as part of DFRS’ education programme with one allocated to each school signed up.