Firefighters are actively involved in the planning and delivery of Fire safety campaigns, education in schools and dealing with local groups in order to create a much higher level of awareness.
The general message of fire safety, and the value of smoke detectors, has been well needed by Western Region residents. A survey four years ago revealed that only 40 percent of homes were fitted with smoke detectors, today it is 86 percent, well above the national average of around 70 percent.
Combined initiatives, by the Fire Service, Lions Groups, a supermarket chain and Housing New Zealand, have brought about the turnaround. One major initiative was the Fire Service combining with the Police, Neighbourhood Watch, and Road Safe Taranaki to provide training and displays for every town in the area.
Western Region also actively co-ordinate the Fire Awareness Intervention Programme, FAIP is to help parents and or caregivers overcome the problem of fire lighting. The child/juvenile is visited at home by a Fire Safety Officer. In partnership the child, the parents and the officer develop an awareness of fire safety issues in the home environment.
Through the use of the Fire Awareness and Intervention module, the child develops a greater respect for fire and its consequences.
The Western Region training team comprises of a full time Senior Regional Trainer and two Regional Trainers. Thirty nine casual trainers assist with the delivery of courses. The casual trainers are mainly operational members of the Fire Service (career and volunteer), and also includes Fire Safety Officers, Volunteer Support Oficers, and trainers from other organisations.
The focus is to provide training to meet the skill acquisition and maintenance needs of all firefighters within Western Region. This includes knowledge to complete selected Fire Safety tasks and the completion of Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) training for all operational career staff.