Bonfire night campaign success
Bonfire Night is one of the busiest nights of the year for most fire and rescue services. At Tyne and Wear FRS (TWFRS) we run a campaign each year to help prevent bonfire and firework injuries, especially in young people.
Using insights from a recent project we based our 2014 campaign on ‘Jack’s Story’; about a 10-year-old boy who started a fire as a prank and almost killed someone. Based on true events it showed how Jack’s thoughtless actions affected his mum and sister as well as his own life, long after he lit the fire.
Jack’s story was told in through a film and shown in schools as part of our education programme. It was also delivered to young people outside of mainstream education at our interactive safety centre and used across social media.
The campaign launch took place at local schools as part of a media and social media plan. Further coverage was obtained by working with partners and local media spent Bonfire Night in Control Room as well as on an appliance.
During the campaign a 14-year-old boy suffered a severe hand injury as a result of playing with an illegal firework. The family joined our campaign resulting in national media coverage. We are following him throughout the year to find out how it has affected his life and will be used in this year’s campaign.
On 5 November 2014 calls to TWFRS reduced by nearly a fifth and incidents we attended by more than a quarter- the lowest level for 11 years. Hospitals reported eight injuries.
In terms of media coverage more than 500,000 people heard about our campaign, more than 700,000 could have seen it and more than a million people could have read about it. After seeing Jack’s Story, 85% of 10-14 year olds said they or their friends are less likely to set fires.
For more information and Jack’s click here or contact me on 0191 444 1542.
- Michelle Atkinson, Tyne & Wear FRS