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Our Service has won three awards for work to help to protect vulnerable people in the community through data sharing.
The awards were presented as a new publication is launched to encourage data sharing amongst agencies across Merseyside to help identify those who may be at a higher risk of a fire occurring in their home.
The publication is called “Dying for Data – Reducing Fire Deaths in Merseyside” and agencies who may already work, or have contact with people who are more vulnerable, are asked to help to make the people they are aware of safer by emailing Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service to discuss sharing information at
The iNetwork presented The Excellence In Information Sharing And Security Award (EISS) to Deb Appleton, Director of Strategy and Performance at our Service, and representatives from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA), who worked together on the project. The award recognises the data-sharing work with the National Health Service to identify and highlight vulnerable people. These people were also presented with the iNetwork Overall Best Innovation Award at the same event.
A few days later, the two fire and rescue services won another award for the same work, this time from the NHS.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: “These awards shows an element of some of the excellent prevention work we do throughout the year, striving to make people safer in our communities. Over the past decade we have significantly reduced the number of accidental fire deaths and injuries across Merseyside.
“Our free Home Fire Safety Checks and the proactive installation of more than 800,000 smoke alarms has made a major contribution to home safety and we know there are people alive today who would not have been had it not been for this campaign.
“The Service now provides a more targeted approach to home fire safety, focusing our resources on the most at risk and hardest to reach. Vulnerable people often live in deprived areas, but can live anywhere on Merseyside. Through no fault of their own, lifestyle and health issues can also put people into our ‘at risk’ categories.
“By not sharing data I believe we leave vulnerable people exposed to unnecessary risk and harm. We want to play our
Deb Appleton, Director of Strategy and Performance at our Service, on the far left of this photo, stands with Jean Crimmins, Corporate Information Sharing Officer, and Paul Terry, Corporate Information and Systems Manager. Deb and Paul hold the two iNetwork awards presented for the work to identify and protect vulnerable people.
Photo: Karl Mansfield.
part in our collective ‘Duty of Care’ and to do that we need to share information.
“If you think you can help make your clients safer by sharing information, please contact ”
Deb Appleton, Director of Strategy and Performance, said:
“We have developed a ‘Vulnerable Person Index’ which helps us focus the work of our fire crews and specialist prevention staff on the people who need our assistance most.
“But the success of our Vulnerable Person Index is entirely dependent on other organisations being willing to share information to protect the vulnerable people who use their services. We understand that sharing personal information sometimes causes concern and that there is a balancing act between data protection and data sharing.
“We have built up strong partnerships with some key organisations but we believe there is still more that can be done. We have extensive experience and expertise in managing and sharing sensitive information safely and securely.”
The “Dying for Data” report, which is available on our Service website , examines the causes of fire deaths in Merseyside and identifies those people most at risk. The period covered is from 2004/5 to 2013/14.
A man was brought to safety from a roof of a property after firefighters worked with the police on a call-out.
Our Service was called at 9.34pm on a Saturday in January to a road in Birkenhead.
A fire appliance from Birkenhead Community Fire Station, a Combined Pump Ladder and appliance from Wallasey Community Fire Station and the Search and Rescue Team attended the
incident. An appliance from Upton Community Fire Station also attended.
Station Manager Steve Gadsdon said:
"The Search and Rescue Team technician managed to get a harness onto the male, who was at that stage on top of the chimney stack, before getting him into the cage of the Combined Pump Ladder (CPL). Great skill was demonstrated by the CPL operators on this call-out resulting in a successful outcome."
Photo supplied by Station Manager Steve Gadsdon.

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