It seems fire is a word that has managed to survive the alteration of words and their meanings by the youth of today. Unlike words such as ‘sick’ and ‘safe’ fire has kept its meaning and in my opinion, always will, without trying to second guess the kids that seem to throw the English dictionary out of the window on a regular basis.
I can remember when the fire service came to my school to give talks and how they were always held in high esteem. Their words of caution often rang louder in my ears than any instructions the teachers would give. However, as the interests and hobbies of young people have changed it is vital for the fire safety industry to find new ways to engage with today’s youth.
The FIA supports the efforts of The Prince’s Trust, their Fire Industry Teams Programme is just one of the measures taken to ignite the relationship between the youth and the fire industry in order to turn a passing interest into a potential career. The Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) have already helped over 15,000 unemployed young people through courses run by the Trust. Last year alone fifteen local Fire and Rescue Services supported over 1,700 disadvantaged young people by running the Trust’s Team Programme which helps unemployed young people gain the skills and confidence to find work. It is courses of this nature as well as the increased use of work placements that will allow youngsters to find their feet in the industry.
The FRS’s have also made attempts to be ‘down with the kids’. ‘Got mine! Got yours’ is a home video commissioned by the London Fire Brigade to communicate the dangers of fire and the effectiveness of protection measures in a ‘hip’ and urban way. If this doesn’t get the kids down with the fire industry I don’t know what will!
West Midlands FRS also had a similar video produced for them called, ‘The Fire Song’, by none other than Corey ‘S-MAN’ Campbell! Although he may not be the super-hero his name suggests, the video does highlight the importance of fire safety in a way that a lot of kids today are responsive too.
For those who don’t dream of being the next Jay-Z or 50 cent, something a bit more light-hearted is more likely to do the trick. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service recorded their own version of a well-known pop song called, ‘push the button’, originally released by the Sugababes. I think it’s an innovative way to promote regular smoke alarm testing however that is where the inventiveness ends, as you can see by the dance moves presented.
I think that campaigns that use social media and relate to young people should be the way forward to promote fire safety, if not to combat the influence of Mario Balotelli’s escapades!