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Sexting, fire risks and road safety: children learn about ‘real life’ dangers

PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:29 10 March 2020

A Crucial Crew workshop at the North Lynn Fire Station in 2018. Picture: Ian Burt

A Crucial Crew workshop at the North Lynn Fire Station in 2018. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Potentially life-saving safety lessons are being taught to Norfolk’s primary school children as part of a series of interactive workshops which are touring the county.

A firefighter 'rescues' pupils from the fire experience unit during a Crucial Crew event in Great Yarmouth. Picture: SuppliedA firefighter 'rescues' pupils from the fire experience unit during a Crucial Crew event in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Supplied

Nearly 69,000 year six students, aged 10 and 11, have taken part in the annual Crucial Crew safety sessions that are now in their 18th year.

The idea is to give children advice on how to stay safe at home, in the community and online, with sessions designed to be fun and interactive.

The benefits have been life-changing in some cases, with one previous participant later witnessing an electrocution and knowing what to do to keep the casualty safe until help arrived.

A Crucial Crew workshop at the North Lynn Fire Station in 2018. Picture: Ian BurtA Crucial Crew workshop at the North Lynn Fire Station in 2018. Picture: Ian Burt

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This year's events began this week with more than 600 pupils from Breckland attending the two-hour sessions over four days at Letton Hall at Shipdham.

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As well as learning about fire safety in real-life scenarios, children also take part in seven bitesize workshops on how to tackle the personal dangers and learn valuable skills in how to keep safe.

A Crucial Crew workshop at the North Lynn Fire Station in 2018. Picture: Ian BurtA Crucial Crew workshop at the North Lynn Fire Station in 2018. Picture: Ian Burt

Topics being covered include first aid, road risks, seaside safety, CPR and defibrillators, healthy relationships, and online risks including talking to strangers and sexting.

Margaret Dewsbury, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for communities and partnerships, said: 'The free Crucial Crew sessions enable Norfolk children to not only keep themselves safer, but also benefit the communities they live in too.

'We've heard that lessons learnt in the past have been put into practical use by young people who are better equipped to deal with emergency situations.'

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The event is organised by Norfolk Fire Service but includes scenarios run by Norfolk Constabulary, HM Coastguard, Norfolk Resilience Forum, St John Ambulance, Norfolk Youth Offending Team, Environment Agency, Cadent Gas and RNLI.

Other venues include King's Lynn North fire station between April 27 and May 1 for West Norfolk pupils, The Space in Norwich from May 21 to 25, while South Norfolk schools will attend Easton College from July 13-17.

North Norfolk pupils will be able to take part at Gresham's Prep School in Holt between October 19 and 21, while Crucial Crew will come to Great Yarmouth's Haven Holiday Park between November 9 and 16.

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