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KFRS tackles safety advice for Travellers

Published on 10 February 2009

Kent Fire and Rescue Service has teamed up with local gypsies and travellers to produce a DVD offering vital fire safety advice.

The devastating effects of fire are highlighted in a series of graphic demonstrations and through personal testimonies. Travellers are also offered simple guidance on how to keep themselves, their caravans and trailers safe.

KFRS Assistant Director of Operational Services, Sean Bone-Knell, said: "We are aiming to reach all sections of the diverse communities within Kent and Medway. This particular project was commissioned with members of travelling groups and our community safety team working together to provide specific information to people who can often be hard to reach. The DVD is an excellent tool for travellers to help educate and reduce the risk of fire."

Presented by traveller Joe Jones, the DVD is a joint partnership between KFRS and various groups including the National Gypsy Council and Canterbury Gypsy Support Group. Joe said: "Fire is at the very heart of the gypsy and traveller culture providing heat for keeping us warm, cooking our food and boiling water and providing light to enable us to see in times of darkness. But the DVD clearly shows the dangers that fire can bring to all communities highlighted in the tragic story told by Richard Sheridan in the DVD."

It was produced by Simon Evans from Open Productions, a journalist and film-maker who has a long track record working within the gypsy and traveller community. He said: "I was delighted to work with Kent Fire and Rescue on this project as the specific needs of gypsies and travellers are often overlooked."

The DVD is being distributed to traveller and gypsy groups around the county.

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