Pupils at St Mary’s Special School & College recently took part in the annual “Safety in Action” education event at Bexhill Community Fire Station.

The event is organised by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) and is a special day of “hands on” experience offering vital safety skills and knowledge that will help them keep safe as they grow older.

This year nearly 600 Primary School Year 6 children from 23 schools in the Rother area took part. There is a challenge to the event, as after each scenario, the schools were each given a mark out of 20.

The winner this year was St Mary’s School. Organiser Sophie Hepworth, Public Health Specialist with ESFRS said “The school came out top and the 15 students excelled in making the 999 call and were very caring with the casuality.”

At morning assembly, their winners certificate was presented by David Kemp, Head of Community Safety at ESFRS. He said: “Safety in Action provides a safe environment for children to learn how to avoid dangerous situations and we are delighted to be working with local agencies and Bexhill Lions Club to deliver the event in the Rother area. Congratulations to St Mary’s on winning the competition. They clearly showed a real understanding of the risks in a variety of situations which I’m sure will stay with them.”

Lion President Rick Hough then congratulated all those that took part and presented a trophy and a cheque for £150 to Mrs Docherty ,Year 4 teacher.

She said the School was delighted to win and were very proud of the winning pupils. With the support of Lion Val Mewett each of the participating students then received a “Great Competitor” medal.

The project aims to teach children aged between 10 and 11 years how to deal with or avoid life threatening situations. The emphasis during the events was learning by experiencing risk – even if children made mistakes along the way!

Different agencies staged scenarios, such as:

Road safety and personal safety, What to do with a casualty, Reporting a fire and home based risks, The dangers of the railway line, Water safety, Alcohol safety, Electrical safety and Cycle safety.

Members of Bexhill Lions Club did role plays and helped with the scenarios during the 3 days of the event.

The key messages were given by simple illustrations “If an elephant weighs 1 ton, how many elephants are equal to an 8 coach train?..the answer is 400.

How far would it take to stop if it started to break at 70mph..the answer is 20

football pitches”.

In the road safety session the children were asked to pace out how far they thought a car would take to stop if doing 30mph. They were really surprised it was 23m.

Each child will also receive a certificate and a workbook from ESFRS to reinforce the safety messages learned. Funding for this event has been awarded by ESCC Public Health.

Sue Cassell, Bexhill Lions’ Youth Committee Chair said “We are delighted to continue to be involved in this initiative by providing team leaders for the sessions and also sponsoring the prize for the winning school. It was a really well organised event that delivered key safety messages in a clear understandable way. I’m sure the children will take these home and share them with family and friends, spreading the message of how to keep safe.”

To learn more about how Bexhill Lions’ support the local Community visit or call Lion Rick on 0845 833 9591