Steve Brine visited Alresford Fire Station on Friday 16th March as they prepare to welcome the police back in to share the iconic building on Pound Hill.
The Alresford MP met with Hampshire's Chief Fire Officer, Neil Odin, and Group Manager for Test Valley and Winchester, Dan Tasker, to discuss a range of local and national issues.
A large part of the visit was dedicated to looking at Hampshire's Fire as a Health Asset work, where the fire service supply and support a number of services alongside health partners. Fire crews and staff work across a range of health and community issues, all with prevention at the core.
Mr Brine described it as a "fantastic scheme".
He said: "As a Health Minister, work around prevention is right at the top of my agenda. It makes so much sense to invest early to prevent more expensive and potentially deadly problems further down the track.
"I was delighted to learn more about Fire as a Health Asset. Fire crews carry out a wide range of health prevention work including:
1) Safe & Well visits to assess for things like trips and falls hazards in the homes of vulnerable people
2) Coaching older people on how to deal with frailty through STEER (Safety Through Education and Exercise for Resilience) courses
3) Working with teenagers and young people on healthy bodies and healthy minds through A Better Me courses
4) Acting as emergency co-responders to medical emergencies
"It really was inspirational to see this for myself and I plan to invite the Fire Minister down so he can see this for himself and hopefully share this excellent practice across the country."
Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin said: "Fire services play an incredibly diverse role in supporting residents.
"Prevention and education are at the heart of all our work, and this extends to helping create healthier communities.
"We have the skills, resources and personnel to be able to complement the work of our health partners, providing vital interventions that can help save lives, protect the most vulnerable and improve the quality of life for people of all ages."
Mr Brine added: "I was also very impressed to see the equipment and appliances at Alresford Fire Station, and develop a further understanding of the pivotal role fire stations play in their communities across Hampshire."
Alresford Fire Station is now fully re-open, with co-located police officers serving the town, after a fire damaged part of the mid-19th century building last year.
More information ...
STEER (Safety Through Education and Exercise for Resilience)
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