Fire engine spreading message about health and wellbeing

fire engine wrap 1

When it comes to health and wellbeing, Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service has got it all wrapped up.

One of the fire engines at Rewley Road, Oxford, now carries wraparound signage featuring key messages on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing.

5 Ways to Wellbeing is a campaign by Oxfordshire County Council’s Public Health team designed to help residents bounce back from life’s knocks. It encourages people to connect with others, keep learning, be active, take notice and give something back.

The Public Health team seeks to promote, improve and protect the health of local people. It’s all part of the council’s commitment to thriving communities – we help people live safe, healthy lives and play an active part in their community.

‘It’s all about being seen’

According to Rewley Road station manager Paul Riley, the 5 Ways to Wellbeing checklist is something firefighters strive to adhere to.

He said: “For firefighters it’s all about working as a team and there are some really key messages here. 5 Ways to Wellbeing is a great way to achieve balanced mental wellbeing and something we encourage among our team.

“This is all about getting those messages out to a wider audience. It’s something a bit different and we were very keen to support the county council’s Public Health team.

“It’s the first time we’ve had signage on a fire appliance and it will be good for when we turn out to public events like fetes. It’s all about being seen.”

Following the 5 Ways to Wellbeing

After 28 years in the fire service, Paul says it’s important for him to follow the 5 Ways to Wellbeing.

Connect: “We do see a lot of harrowing incidents so it’s important to connect with family and friends outside of the fire service. It’s good to chat to help get things off your mind.”

Be active: “It’s important we maintain our levels of fitness – it doesn’t matter whether you’re 18 or 60. I cycle into work a couple of times a week and it’s about 20 miles from home to the station. I also run a couple of times a week. I’m competing in the Nottingham Outlaw Triathlon in July so I’ve been learning how to improve my swimming. Being active is so important – if I don’t do anything for a couple of days I go stir crazy.”

Take notice: “I’m lucky enough to live in the Cotswolds and when I’m out walking with my family and our dog I really take time to appreciate the countryside around me. It’s the same when I’m running or cycling.”

Keep learning: “I was previously watch manager and was promoted to station manager nine months ago, so I’ve been on lots of courses and taken lots of new things on board.”

Give: “I coach my daughter’s football team, Tower Hill Vixens Under-15s. I’ve been coaching for four years now and absolutely love it. It’s nice to feel like I’m giving something back to the community.”

More information and services that can help you engage with The 5 Ways to Wellbeing can be found here

Lower your risks of developing ill mental health

Donna Husband, head of public health programmes (health improvement) in the county council’s Public Health team, said: “This is a great way to enable you to positively impact on your wellbeing and life in general. Following these five simple preventative steps will lower your risks of developing ill mental