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Tri-service launch Communication Guide to advance communication with Deaf Service users

As part of the Tri-Service commitment between Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, all three Services have teamed up to launch a Communication Guide to support conversations between Firefighters and the Deaf community under the British Deaf Association’s British Sign Language (BSL) Charter.

This document has been designed predominantly for use at emergencies or incidents when firefighters and other fire service personnel are communicating with Deaf people or people who may experience speech difficulties. The guide aims to provide a point of reference for sharing key information. This may include if someone’s in pain or where an incident happened.

Having this guide available to our crews to use at incidents provides a great benefit, as it can assist with communication allowing crews to respond swiftly to ensure individual and public safety.

Printed copies of the guide will be provided to incident commanders, prevention staff, and will be kept on appliances.

Bryn Coleman, Area Manager of Protection and Prevention at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said “I am very proud to see the introduction of this communication guide as part of the Service’s commitment to disability equality, it is very positive to assist the Service in communicating with Deaf Service users and those with speech difficulties.

“Working in collaboration with Derbyshire and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service’s to create this document both signifies all our commitments and provides a standard across all three services.”

Derbyshire’s Group Manager of Prevention and Inclusion, Kev Page, added: “We’re delighted to be able to collaborate with our neighboring Services on such a valuable tool as part of the Tri-Service commitment. As a Service, we’re always working on ways we can represent and communicate with every member of our community to ensure we can provide the best support possible when they’re in need.”

Karl Bowden, Area Manager Community Risk at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, added: “For those who are deaf, hard-of-hearing and those with speech difficulties, there is never a ‘one size fits all’ method of communication. That’s why I’m really pleased with the production of this communication guide. The methods in the guide – such as the printed alphabet and numbers - will help us to ensure that we can communicate in a way which is inclusive and considerate of the needs of our diverse communities, helping to promote equality across the board.”

If you have any enquiries, you can use the text facilities available for your local Fire and Rescue Service.

Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service: 07766 299 999

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service: 07860 063686

Please note, these numbers are not to be used in case of emergencies. To report a fire and other emergencies you need to first text ‘register’ to 999 and follow the instructions received on your phone. Once registered you will be able to use the emergency SMS service.

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