Jobs offered to help improve high-rise fire safety

UNEMPLOYED people are to be recruited to help improve fire safety in Edinburgh's high-rise flats.

A team of 15 are to be taken off Jobseeker's Allowance by the city council and given the title "trainee concierges".

They will then work with community firefighters to offer fire safety advice to tower block residents.

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Over the next year, trainee concierges will be primarily acting as the eyes and ears of the Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service and will generate appointments for firefighters to visit tenants and carry out a free home safety visit.

Councillor Norman Work, vice-convener of the council's housing and social care committee, said: "This is a great partnership scheme, as not only will it provide local unemployed people with training and a job for six months but it will also build their confidence and work skills.

"The project will also be a huge benefit to the residents of these high-rise homes in Edinburgh in that they will be given first-class fire safety advice from professionals within the fire service.

"Avoiding tragic fires is essential and this scheme will prove its worth in the months and years to come."

Community firefighter John Dickey said: "The trainee concierges will be in a position to build relationships with those living in high-rises and talk to them about how to reduce risk.

"We will be involved in training staff in basic fire safety, particularly how they can contribute to tenant and firefighter safety."