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      London Fire Brigade

      London Fire Brigade making the most of new sign language skills.

      In order to support a deaf colleague, firefighters from the station in Shepherd's Bush Road, Hammersmith, completed a three-day course with the help of one of our trainers.

      Borough fire administration officer, Colin Jones, said: "One of our colleagues, Helen, is deaf. She can lipread and we communicate well, but it prompted us to try to learn sign language. It's useful in our own office and also it's helped us communicate with deaf people when we've been out doing building inspections. The experience was a real eye opener for the team, and gave them an insight into the deaf world."

      Working together

      Helen said: "Being deaf, it can be hard at times to join in with, and follow, office conversation. The sign language course has shown real effort and commitment on behalf of my colleagues to include me in the working environment."

      Assistant commissioner for London Fire Brigade, Malcolm Kelly, said: "The sign language course supports the fire safety work we do in the communities we serve. But, equally as important, it is making our staff more aware of the issues deaf people face and helping them to work more confidently alongside their deaf colleagues."

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