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Fire and Rescue Service turn to drama to tackle deliberate firestarters


North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has this week unveiled an innovative new pilot to help tackle the issue of deliberate fire starting in Wrexham.


Staff from the Wrexham County Safety Office and TheArson Reduction Teamhave been working on a brand new forum theatre project withGlyndŵrUniversity


'Cross-fire' looks at the consequences of deliberate fires and exploring the views of the young people in the area was conceived and produced by students on Glyndŵr's theatre course following a commission from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service.


Pupils from four Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) in Wrexham and selected pupils from the town's high schools were invited to Glyndŵr to be part of the interactive theatre experience which sees action taking place around them.


The performance takes places in the 'old union' disused building and uses video footage and new technology to relay the message to youngsters by showing the impact of deliberate fire starting on a group of school friends.


The performance was followed by an interactive workshop, linking in with characters from the piece and fire and rescue service staff. The views and opinions expressed in the workshop will now be used by staff from Glyndŵr to help inform a study on deliberate firestarting in the Wrexham area.


Gary Brandrick, Senior Fire Safety Manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, explains more: "Deliberate firestarting in the Wrexham area has been an issue for a number of years, and we're always trying to look at new and innovative ways to get young people to realise that deliberate fires can have very serious consequences. We have been working with Glyndŵr on a number of projects, and together we came up with the idea of a forum theatre piece to look at the issue of deliberate firestarting.


"We're thrilled with the feel of the piece, and believe that using concepts and storylines created by the young students will enable to audience to connect with our underlying messages and really make them think about the possible consequences of their actions."


Huw Garmon, Senior Lecturer, Television and Performance for Glyndŵr University said: "Theatre is at its best when it connects with society and makes a difference. This performance was devised by young people for young people and will hopefully encourage them to think twice about participating in this kind of dangerous activity."

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