Cllr McFarlane and Group Commander Mark Gallacher from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue are presented with the Personal Safety Award
South Ayrshire's Community Safety Partnership has won a prestigious national award at the Scottish Government's Safer Communities Awards 2012.
An innovative Fire Safety Project run by the Partnership, supported by South Ayrshire Council and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service took the honours in the Personal Safety category.
The project aims to minimise the risk of a fatal fire for the most vulnerable people in South Ayrshire.
The award was presented to Councillor Nan McFarlane, Chair of the Community Safety Partnership and Group Commander Mark Gallacher from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, by Sir Peter Housden, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, and Errol Taylor, Deputy Chief Executive of RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) who sponsored the Personal Safety award.
Councillor McFarlane commented: "I'm delighted to accept this award on behalf of the Community Safety Partnership and I'd like to say a particularly big thank you to Strathclyde Fire and Rescue for all the support they have given in helping us deliver this initiative in the community.
"Working with people across the community is a key aspect of our work and the Partnership enjoys excellent support from its member organisations and the local community in delivering our key aims of making South Ayrshire a Safer, Healthier and more Confident place.
"Our aims for the project were as simple as they were vital. We wanted to increase the number of home safety visits carried out by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and improve awareness of fire risks in the homes of vulnerable people and, wherever possible, reduce such risks to a minimum.
"Doing this successfully has undoubtedly saved lives and prevented some people from serious injury through a fire at home."
The project builds on the work of the Home Fire Safety Check carried out by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and added an extra dimension to this by targeting vulnerable people known to partner organisations, but not necessarily known to the fire and rescue service.
The project also delivered low cost equipment to those households such as fire retardant bedding and matting, surge protected cables and timer switches.
Group Commander Mark Gallacher from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue added: "Over 53 referrals for home safety visits were received from partner organisations, and our officers were able to make sure a number of local homes were made significantly safer.
"The Fire Safety Project is an excellent example of where we can all work together to make a big difference for local people and we've already seen the positive results of this with an 11% decrease in the number of accidental home fires between 1 April and 30 November 2011."
Councillor McFarlane concluded: "The work undertaken by the Fire Safety Project cannot be underestimated and the figures speak for themselves.
"I am certain that these measures will save lives, protect the vulnerable and have long lasting and positive outcomes for the Community Safety Partnership and, most importantly, our local communities."
Image copyright Paul Cameron (2012) www.paulcameronphotography.com