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Fire service launches Christmas drink and drug drive campaign

Firefighters in West Sussex are warning about the risks and consequences of drink and drug driving over the festive period.

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West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has launched a driving under the influence (DUI) campaign as the Christmas party season gets underway.

The fire service is highlighting the experiences of its crews and members of other emergency services who have attended road traffic collisions.

In addition, an offender, currently serving a prison sentence for driving under the influence, has been speaking about his experience.

In 2017 West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service attended 43 road traffic collisions where the driver was under the influence of alcohol.

Among those who shared their experiences was Richard Poole, Crew Manager at Steyning Fire Station.

He said: “When you get a report about an RTC with persons trapped, the things that go through your mind are: How bad is the accident? What are their injuries going to be? Are they alive? And do you know them? We join to help people, not to pick up the pieces on the side of the road.”

A drink drive offender who killed two pedestrians has also shared his story in a bid to get people to think twice before getting behind the wheel under the influence.

The offender, who was filmed for the campaign, says: “I decided to drink, I got distracted and by the time I looked forward, I was over the stop line, and it was too late to react. There are two families out there that are suffering and it’s all because of my actions and my decision to drive that night. It’s something that I will have to live with for the rest of my life. It all could have been avoided.”

If caught driving under the influence, you could face:

• A possible prison sentence
• A driving ban for a minimum of 12 months
• An unlimited fine
• A criminal record
• An increase in car insurance

Debbie Kennard, Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “Please consider the consequences of driving under the influence, not just to yourself but to those around you. If you’re going out and are planning to have a drink, make sure you have alternative plans to get home. Don’t drink and drive.”

For more information or to watch the videos please visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire and select ‘Keeping safe campaigns’ and ‘Winter fire safety advice.’

Education

Crawley school honoured to be visited by Holocaust survivor

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Students from The Gatwick School were fascinated to hear from a survior from the Holocaust when he made a visit to the school earlier this week.

Survivor John Hajdu, who was born in 1937, came to the school to speak about his experience of the Holocaust in Budapest, Hungary.

His forty minute talk fascinated the students who were clearing moved by what he had to ssay.

The testimony was followed by a question and answer session to enable students to better understand the nature of the holocaust and to explore it’s lessons in more depth. 

The visit was part of the Holocaust Educational Trust Outreach Program

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