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West Yorkshire's emollient campaign gets blanket BBC coverage

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service's (WYFRS) campaign to raise awareness of the fire risk associated with paraffin-based skin products got off to a successful start, with widespread coverage across all BBC channels.

BBC reporter Tracy Gee carried out a number of interviews, which resulted in coverage on BBC Inside Out, BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio 5 Live Investigates, BBC Breakfast, and BBC’s Jeremy Vine Show and across BBC online channels. The story received more than 2.7 million hits on the BBC news channel during the first weekend alone.

The media coverage included the story of a man who sadly died after his dressing gown caught fire whilst smoking. He used paraffin-based products for a leg ulcer. His daughter carried out interviews with Tracy Gee and also on the BBC Breakfast sofa. She was joined by Watch Manager Chris Bell and Watch Manager Jamie Lister in the interviews to highlight the risks and give advice. Chris and Jamie, alongside Claire Tabert from Central Prevention, have been working tirelessly to raise awareness in the medical community to ensure no further tragedies happen.

The fire risk associated with using paraffin-based skin products was also picked up by national newspapers and news sites, featuring in the likes of the Daily Mirror, The Sun, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Sky News and the Daily Mail.

West Yorks

WC Chris Bell is pictured being interviewed on BBC Breakfast and on BBC Look North

As part of the awareness campaign DCFO Dave Walton wrote two letters. The first was to all GP practices across West Yorkshire which was disseminated through the individual clinical commissioning groups. GPs were asked to inform their patients of the potential fire risks when prescribing products, consider reviewing the prescriptions if the patient is smoking and to share information about the dangers with their teams. The second letter was issued to 571 community-based pharmacists within West Yorkshire which asked pharmacists to ensure they have conversations with their customers when dispensing products, note information on patient medication records and share the information with their teams.

The project team are also meeting with members of the National Fire Chief’s Council to discuss ways of raising awareness amongst other fire and rescue services, collating and sharing good practice and resources.The next stage for WYFRS is to introduce an easily accessible dedicated web page on the internet site which acts as a resource library of information, advice and good practice for the public, health and care professional and other fire and rescue services.

Claire Brown, West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

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