An MSP has praised emergency services and volunteers across the region who offer primary seven school children a special day of ‘”hands on” safety education.
Joan McAlpine attended Operation Safety this week, a multi-agency interactive learning event which involves Police Scotland, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service and Scottish Power.
The initiative involves some 1100 primary seven pupils attending the venue at the Dupont Teijin Films factory at Cargenbridge, Dumfries, where they are given key messages relating to first aid, fireworks and other fire risks, safety around electricity, and internet safety.
The aim of the safety days is to offer young people essential safety skills and knowledge that will help to keep them safe as they transfer to secondary school and beyond.
Attending this year’s event, South of Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said:
“I was delighted to be invited to sit in on some of the sessions and experience this ground-breaking interactive learning event first-hand.
“It is obvious how much planning and coordination has gone into the development of Operation Safety. It has been running now for seventeen years and its long-term success is a credit to the hard-work of the agencies and staff involved.
“In developing this comprehensive safety education programme for school children in Dumfries and Galloway, the agencies have created a model of effective partnership working that can be replicated elsewhere - and I was pleased to see that staff from across Scotland were in attendance today to learn from the success of Operation Safety locally.
With long-running large-scale events being held in both Dumfries and Stranraer, the organisers estimate that since its establishment some 40,000 school children have been through programme – representing a significant proportion of the population of Dumfries and Galloway.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“It was great to see how much the school children gain from participating in the event – they are extremely fast learners and by the end of each session could teach everyone else a thing or two about safety!
“Operation Safety gives young people the opportunity to experience various situations and hazards which they may face in real life. The event equips them with the information and skills they need to be able to make the right decisions that will keep themselves, their friends and their community safe in the years to come.
“I am extremely grateful to the staff involved in Operation Safety for delivering this vital education programme to the community and to Dupont Teijin Films who have generously provided an appropriate venue for the event.”
Photo: Constable Audrey Johnstone, Joan McAlpine MSP and Community Firefighter Louise Smith