Lessons in safety at Crucial Crew event

Crucial Crew at Eildon Mill, Tweedbank. Pupils from Langlee Primary learn about road safety.

Crucial Crew at Eildon Mill, Tweedbank. Pupils from Langlee Primary learn about road safety.

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Schoolchildren from across the Borders have been learning how to cope in emergency situations at an annual safety event.

Crucial Crew 2016 was staged at Eildon Mill in Tweedbank, welcoming around 1,200 primary seven pupils from 61 schools across the region.

The hands-on learning event is designed to help children prepare for potentially dangerous situations, learn social responsibility and understand the roles of the emergency services and other related agencies.

Council premises at Eildon Mill were transformed to host a variety of simulated dangers and scenarios relevant to Borders life.

Pupils worked in teams to go around the eight different emergency scenes, covering everthing from first aid and farm safety to fire prevention and drug and alcohol abuse.

Faced with potential hazards in controlled circumstances, the children were put to the test reacting to the different emergencies as they would in real life before being given feedback from the supervising agencies on the relevant dangers and the correct ways of dealing with them.

Mid Berwickshire councillor Donald Moffat, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “Thousands of school children have received valuable safety skills by attending Crucial Crew during its 24 years.

“By giving the primary seven pupils the opportunity to gain practical experience through the various scenarios which are set up, it ensures the safety messages are much stronger.

“Should these children be confronted with an emergency situation in the future, hopefully they will remember the advice provided to them at Crucial Crew.”

Pupils were divided into teams and scored by staff on their ability to work together, to identify safety issues, their questions asked and on their overall behaviour.

Two teams from Denholm Primary School, near Hawick, had the highest number of points, each scoring 79 from a possible 80.

They took home a prize of £200 for their school.

Organised by the Borders’ safer communities team, the event this year ran from Monday, September 19, to last Thursday.

It was supported by the British Red Cross, Police Scotland, Scottish Power, British Transport Police, the Royal National Lifeboats Institute, the Royal Highland Education Trust, National Farmers’ Union and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.