Learn BSL as a Life-Saving Skill Say Firefighters

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Firefighters learn BSL (British Sign Language) to help them communicate more effectively during an emergency. The BBC recently reported that Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service have implemented a new initiative to ensure their firefighters can communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing during emergency situations. The training will teach emergency responders a number of specific phrases. 

Tyne and Wear Fire Rescue Service

Firefighters working in the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service have been receiving BSL instruction after visiting a local school, where two pupils asked the firefighters how they would deal with a deaf or hard of hearing person during an emergency. The children taught the crew some key words and phrases. This prompted the service to roll out training to around 600 member of staff, many of who continued to learn BSL 

Learn BSL (British Sign Language)

British Sign Language (BSL) plays a critical role in emergency situations by ensuring effective communication with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. In times of crisis, clear and concise communication can mean the difference between life and death. BSL allows emergency responders, healthcare professionals, and volunteers to convey vital information such as evacuation procedures, medical instructions, and safety precautions directly to those who rely on visual language. By recognising and incorporating BSL into emergency preparedness plans, communities can ensure inclusivity and accessibility for all, empowering deaf individuals to fully participate in emergency response efforts and ultimately enhancing overall safety and resilience.

Key Phrases in BSL

Some of the phrases the firefighters learned included “where is the fire?” and “are you hurt?”. The firefighters are receiving an interactive training package including around 20 key phrases which could prove invaluable in an emergency situation. And it is not only in an emergency that interpreting services for the deaf and hard of hearing are invaluable. Many individuals benefit from this support in day to day situations such as medical appointments or job interviews. 

Here, you can find more more information about Knockhundred’s interpreting services for the deaf and hard of hearing

The source of this news item and some more interesting facts about BSL here.

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