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North Wales Fire and Rescue Service shortlisted for award


North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has been nominated alongside six other organisations for a new award as one of Wales' is most deaf-friendly organisations.

The charity Action on Hearing Loss Cymru (formerly the RNID) has launched the Excellence Wales Award, to recognise the businesses and organisations in Wales who go the extra mile to ensure they are accessible to the one-in-six people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager, said: "The Service is keen to provide the best service possible to everyone, which is why we have specific services in place for individuals who may have hearing problems.

"We provide the option for people who are deaf or have hearing loss to phone North Wales Fire and Rescue Service Text Relay; a telephone relay service which enables deaf, deafblind, deafened, hard of hearing and speech impaired people to communicate with hearing people by telephone. There is also our text service which is available for all to book a free home fire safety check.

"The advice that would be given verbally usually is also provided in written literature, and all of our community facilities are installed with hearing loops so that those who attend advice or awareness sessions at our community fire stations are equally able to benefit and contribute.

"All of our operational staff members as well as our community safety staff have received a hard of hearing awareness session aimed at raising their understanding of the needs of deaf or hard of hearing people in relation to fire safety and prevention - this has included using visual prompts or literature to convey a message, as well as an understanding of how and where to install prevention equipment.

"In addition, in the past we have trained advocates and continue to provide opportunities for those who wish to develop their skills in signing; we have two members of staff who are trained to communicate through sign language.

"Many people with hearing loss could be at serious risk from a fire in the home if they don't have the right detection in place. Specialist smoke alarm systems provide valuable time to escape from a house fire, and it is vital that people who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right smoke alarm technology in their home to protect them.

"The Service offers two different types of detection systems, one system that is available incorporates a flashing strobe light and a vibrating pillow pad and the second type we offer is part of a holistic care link system that sends an alarm to a local monitoring system.

"Our objective is to make North Wales Fire and Rescue Service accessible to all. We are very proud to be shortlisted, and are honoured to be recognised for our efforts."

Seven entrants have been shortlisted to win the award. They are;

- Bridgend County Borough Council

- National Assembly for Wales

- North Wales Fire and Rescue Service

- Taking Flight Theatre Company

- Vision Products, Rhondda Cynon Taf

- Welsh Ambulance Service Trust

- Western Power Distribution

An independent judging panel will now decide on the Gold, Silver and Bronze category winners, which will be announced at the Action on Hearing Loss Cymru Gala dinner on 15 May 2015, at the Hilton Hotel in Cardiff.

Anyone unsure about the alarm they need should contact North Wales Fire and Rescue Service for a free home fire safety check.  We are here to help make sure your home is as fire safe as possible.

To request a check, phone our 24 hour hotline on 0800 169 1234, text 88365, prefixing the message with the word HFSC or contact us at

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