Firefighters ranked as the most trustworthy profession across all global regions (source: Trust in professions. GFK Verein. Autumn 2015). Therefore, fire and rescue services across the EU have the potential to do something more for their communities than firefighting. The Firefighters Plus project aims at helping firefighters use their position as role models to promote social inclusion within their community. To do so, five fire and rescue services and two NGOs with wide experience in the field of social inclusion have joined forces to develop the first open and multilingual online training course for firefighters on how to use their position as role models to promote social inclusion.
From 11th to 13th October, the seven partner organisations of the Firefighters Plus project met in Alcalá de Guadaíra (Spain) for their first transnational meeting. The first day began with a warm welcome from the City Council of Alcalá de Guadaíra, led by councillor Enrique Pavón and chief fire officer Marcelino Sancho. Kim Lintrup, chief fire officer of Frederiksborg Fire and Rescue Service, then opened the first work session. The delegates used the first project meeting to set strong foundations for the work of the partnership. In particular, they worked on the development of the training content.
The next step will be to finalise the development of the online training content before the second project meeting in Northumberland (United Kingdom) planned for April 2018. During the meeting in Northumberland, the delegates from the partner organisations will prepare for the next project activity, the testing of the online training course with firefighters from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Poland, the Netherlands and Spain.
This cross-sectoral and cross-border partnership is an initiative of Frederiksborg Fire and Rescue Service (Denmark) in collaboration with Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (UK), Provincial Headquarters of State Fire Service in Poznan (Poland), Instituut Fysieke Veiligheid (The Netherlands), Alcala de Guadaira Fire and Rescue Service (Spain), Fundatia Centrul de Resurse pentru Diversitate Etnoculturala (Romania) and Stowarzyszenie WIOSNA (Poland). The Firefighters Plus project is co-funded by the European Commission within the framework of the Erasmus + Programme.