Mar 05 2014

Harrow Council worker bestowed with Fire Brigade honour

harrow_council_logoA Harrow Council worker has received an award for the work he has done to improve fire safety in the homes of vulnerable people.

Seamus Doherty, Safeguarding Adults Co-ordinator, is one of only a small number of people outside of London Fire Brigade (LFB) to receive a Borough Commander’s Letter of Commendation. The accolade is usually bestowed upon acting firefighters who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Seamus has arranged for 60 vulnerable older people who receive council help to get free home fire safety visits, where firefighters have checked their home for any risks.

One elderly man he referred to LFB had been falling asleep in bed whilst smoking cigarettes. Following a home fire safety check, the fire service gave him fire retardant bedding and a new smoke alarm, vastly reducing his risk of harm from a fire.

Another woman was a well known hoarder and following Seamus’s referral, fire officers were able to ensure that she had an escape route from her property in the event of an emergency.
Seamus also helped two people living in a sheltered housing block to get domestic sprinklers fitted – the first in Harrow.

Seamus received his award on Monday from Harrow Borough Commander Richard Claydon.

Mr Claydon said: “Seamus has been instrumental in making this initiative successful. He has been the Council’s focus for championing the partnership, updating his colleagues and collating the referrals that have enabled us to provide our intervention services. He has been personally responsible for making many of the members of our community safer in their homes.”

After collecting his award, Seamus said: “I was pleased and very shocked. It’s hugely important that we as a Council work in partnership with other agencies in order to ensure that vulnerable people in our borough are safe in every way. This is something that we strive to do as a team and it is nice to see it recognised in this way.”
Harrow Council Leader Cllr Susan Hall said: “I’m delighted that London Fire Brigade has recognised the work that our Safeguarding Adults team, and particularly Seamus, do – they play a pivotal role in making Harrow a safer borough. Credit also goes to the fire brigade who are so willing to work with us on these important issues and help us to ensure that the borough’s most vulnerable people are kept safe.”

Home fire safety checks are free and LFB would particularly like to hear about people and places where there is a higher risk of fire. This includes high risk individuals such as older people, especially those living alone, those with mobility, vision and hearing impairment. The fire brigade can be contacted via their website on https://hfsvwr.london-fire.gov.uk/ or by calling 08000 28 44 28.

seamus_awardIf people have concerns about the safety of an elderly person or vulnerable adult they can call the Safeguarding Adults Team on 020 8420 9453 or email: safeguarding.adults@harrow.gov.uk.

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