Fire cadets in Tyne and Wear help prevent burns in Tanzania

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service cadet units are raising money to buy wind up torches for African children and reduce the risk of burns injuries.

Severe burns are common in Tanzania, where children use candles to read books under mosquito nets. Unfortunately, this makes it very easy for the nets to catch fire, so the cadets are hoping to provide as many children as possible with a safe alternative.

Fire cadets with torches

There are seven fire cadet units in Tyne and Wear, with each unit initially aiming to raise £100 for torches. However, thanks to the cadets’ hard work and enthusiasm, they have already exceeded this target.

The torches will be transported by nurses from the Royal Victoria Infirmary Burns Unit in November, as part of an award-winning partnership between Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Bright Northumbria and a medical centre in northern Tanzania.

Fire Cadet Instructor Andy Robinson explained: “The fire service keeps people safe through its prevention and education work, showing people how small changes can make a big difference to their safety. For example, we fit smoke alarms and explain the importance of testing them regularly. We explain the dangers of overloading plug sockets, leaving cooking unattended and running their tumble dryer overnight.

Likewise, this project is an opportunity for our cadets to make a huge improvement to the safety of children in Tanzania with a very simple device. They have risen to the challenge with real determination and come up with some great ideas for fundraising.”

Anyone who would like to support the fire cadets with a donation can contact Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service on 0191 444 1500.

Fire cadets meet weekly at fire stations across Tyne and Wear. They enjoy firefighting drills and team building exercises, as well as representing the service at events and ceremonies. Joining the cadets improves confidence, communication and other personal skills, and anyone aged 13-17 and living in Tyne and Wear is welcome to apply.

Find out more about joining the fire cadets.