One of the stands at the Assembly will be manned by one of the West Midlands’ regional Fire and Rescue Services. But they are not there for ‘decoration’. On the contrary, there is an important and, in the context of the theme of the Assembly, relevant reason for their presence.
Across the country and as sponsored by the Chief Fire Officers Association, the Fire Services are encouraging participation in a consultation. There is a document which supports this consultation – that document is entitled “National Older Persons Strategy“, with the sub-title “meeting the challenge of protecting an ageing population“. The consultation document itself and, separately, the questions for which answers and comments are invited can be found at: http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/1593.asp
The impetus for the consultation flows from the disproportionate number of older people (as compared with the population as a whole) who die as a result of fires: for those aged 50 and over, the risk of death from fires is three times greater than for those aged under 50.
Officers from one of the Fire Services will be present during the Assembly to answer questions and provide information. Do take advantage of this opportunity to improve the safety and the health of older people and, it is appropriate to say, to the population as a whole: if older people are made safer as a result of this consultation and any changes that result from it, it is almost inevitable that everyone else in the population will benefit from those changes too.