365alive safety targets met two years ahead of schedule

It did this via educational programmes which were designed to create safer communities and the task has been achieved two years ahead of schedule.

365alive was launched in October 2006 with the aim of saving the economy £100,000,000 and ensuring 365 more people were alive in a ten-year period via targeted practical awareness-raising initiatives with people of all ages.

Financial savings and lives protected have been measured by the reductions in fires and road traffic accidents resulting in serious injury in the county year-on-year and the associated potential loss of life and monetary costs. Through this formula 386 lives have been saved along with £134,185,568 up to the beginning of April 2014.

How is 365alive delivered?

365alive involves the effort of all staff within Oxfordshire County Council's Fire and Rescue Service, whether they work in supplies, workshops or reception as they all form part of  ‘One Team’ enabling the public to be informed and made safer.

Examples of specific schemes include:

  • The 365alive website, which hosts a huge amount of safety-related information
  • Youth Education programmes
  • Drago the Dragon, Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service's safety character, is used online and in specially-written books for children, designed to engage youngsters with risks associated various areas, including road safety; fire safety and making a 999 call
  • The Test It Tuesday campaign, which encourages people to ensure once a week that their smoke alarms are in good working order
  • Road safety educational programmes, including child Cycle Training for Primary school children, Footsteps, a project taught to parents and children designed to encourage youngsters to make practical road safety decisions and our hard hitting Young driver awareness programme ‘Choices and Consequences’, which is aimed at Year 10 and 11 students

Collaborative approach

365alive also works in collaboration with a range of other county council teams to deliver important safety messages within schools and to vulnerable groups and with other agencies, such as Thames Valley Police and St John's Ambulance.

An example of this is Junior Citizens Trust Oxfordshire, a child safety programme led by the Fire and Rescue Service and delivered at Oxford's Rewley Road Fire Station and Safety Centre in specially-adapted rooms where Year Six pupils are presented with mocked-up practical emergency and safety situations in order for them to hazard spot and learn new skills.

Children from The Batt School in Witney were joined there on Monday 22 September by Councillor Rodney Rose, the council's Deputy Leader who has responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service, and David Etheridge, Oxfordshire County Council's Chief Fire Officer.

Mr Etheridge, who was Assistant Chief Fire Officer when 365alive was launched, said: "365alive was hatched with the intention to help make Oxfordshire a safer place and I am delighted that all of the hard work put in by everybody from the Fire and Rescue Service, the county council and partners has paid off to such an extent that we have reached our targets two years early.

"I also must congratulate everybody who has taken part in the vast array of 365alive activities and also for them taking on-board the advice that has helped cut the number of road traffic collisions and fires, which in turn has saved lives and money, helping us to achieve the targets earlier than we had anticipated."

Integrating with other agencies

Mr Etheridge said: "There are many things that people can do to help make their lives safer and in turn, the community safer - it is hugely encouraging that Oxfordshire's public has embraced 365alive in the way it has.

"One of the aims of 365alive was for us to be the most integrated fire and rescue service in the country and the joint-working we do within the county council and with other agencies is part of 365alive's success, as we are able to share expertise and learn from other organisations for the benefit of the people of Oxfordshire.

"We have now set even more challenging targets to meet in the next two years and everybody within Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service is looking forward to working with the community and our partners to make the county even more safe."

Value for money

Councillor Rose said: "Local people really do have one of the very best Fire and Rescue Services at their disposal and that is evidenced by the delivery of the 365alive targets two years ahead of schedule, which is a fantastic achievement by everybody who has been involved.

"Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is part of Oxfordshire County Council, which means it integrates seamlessly with other areas the council has responsibility for, whether that be schools, highways or emergency planning, which helps make 365alive so successful.

"The cost of providing the fire and rescue service in Oxfordshire is around 11p per day for each resident, which I am sure people will agree is excellent value for money."

New targets

Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service has set itself challenging 365alive targets to meet in the next two years: 45 lives saved a year instead of 36 and saving £12.5m annually instead of £10m.

Statistical information

There were 7,542 domestic and non-domestic fires in Oxfordshire between 1995-2005, resulting in 39 fatalities, along with 477 deaths and 3,235 serious injuries from road traffic collisions.

In the period from the launch of 365alive in October 2006 to April 2014, when the targets were reached early, there were 5,379 domestic and non-domestic fires which led to 17 fatalities in the county. There were 234 deaths and 2,368 serious injuries because of accidents on the Oxfordshire's roads during that period.