Industrial Fire Journal - Fire & Rescue - Hemming Group Ltd
‘I would not be scared because I would be prepared’
Published:  05 July, 2013

Hampshire Fire and Rescue (HFRS) finds success in educating young people and adults in responding to climate change incidents.

HFRS Schools and Education Team are educating young people and adults through their fictional character Susie the Childminder.

Watch Manager Mark Woods has been leading on the project that directly supports the work of the Community Resilience group and the Service Initiative of ‘Improving how our communities are able to respond to and support incidents’ as published in the HFRS Service plan 2013-2018.

The books are linked to titles already produced by HFRS using the Susie the Childminder character that in the past have covered the topics of fire, water and road safety.

This series of books are titled:

• The Flood – Changing weather, preparing for flooding and safe actions during flooding events

• Snowflakes & Icicles – Community awareness, being prepared, energy conservation and safe travel.

• Sun, Sea & Seashells – Beach safety, sun safety (public health) and water conservation

Each of the books contains a fictional story using the same characters in each book to engage with key stage 1 (children aged 5-7) and key stage 2 (6-11). They will aid the education of the environment and its impact on communities and how to prepare for such events, through interactive pages public safety messages, guidance on community resilience and tips and ideas to reduce climate change.

Hampshire County Council have produced the Susie the Childminder website which can be accessed from and features each book in a page turner format accompanied by the relevant activity sheets.

Outside of the school environment the books are designed to be shared between children and adults (parent/guardian/grandparent) as part of shared reading, which will achieve a second tier of education and awareness.

Feedback from an initial soft launch with children and parents from a local primary school has been very encouraging, one parent said: "it certainly makes you think about how one should and could prepare and how community should be much more of a focus for people.”

The books are now being officially launched with a minimum of one copy of each title being supplied to each school and early learning facility in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. They are also available as an on online resource via the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum website and will be available in hard copy from HFRS.