Fire

Southend's signing firefighters.(News)(Brief article)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Crews from Southend and Leigh Fire Stations have learned a special type of sign language to help them engage with children who have special needs.

They put their skills into practice when they had a visit from a group of children, aged between seven and nine years, who all have special needs.

The firefighters took part in a course to teach them how to sign in Makaton, a simplified form of sign language often used by children with special needs, so that they can help to spread the fire safety message to this hard-to-reach group.

Southend Station Officer Barrie May said: "The idea came from Michael Freed, a firefighter on our watch who uses Makaton to speak with his son who has special needs. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.