Volunteers create fire-safety training for immigrants in the wake of fatal Halifax fire

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WATCH: A new initiative is being launched to offer free fire safety programs to immigrants. Alicia Draus has the details – Mar 1, 2019

A new initiative is being launched to offer free fire-safety programs to immigrants. the project is called 7 Bears and was inspired by the fatal fire in Spryfield that claimed the lives of seven children from the Barho family.

“The idea came about the day we buried the seven Barho children. There was a fire in New Brunswick the same day and then it was a similar situation, with an immigrant family escaping the flames,” said Emad Aziz, the community relations officer with the Islamic Association of Nova Scotia.

READ MORE: 7 children killed in Halifax house fire, 2 adults sent to hospital

He said he wanted to help make a difference and promote fire safety.

“Simply having the content available for immigrants is not enough, we need to be able to deliver that information in a way they can understand it,” he explained.

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Volunteers are now working to gather material that will help immigrant families in terms of fire safety, they will then host training sessions and will distribute materials to families.

“The [next] step will be to deliver this training to different businesses in Nova Scotia, mosques, community centres, libraries, anywhere there is a need for this.”

While the original material will be created in both English and Arabic, Aziz says they are looking for volunteers who will translate it into other languages so it can help all immigrant communities.

READ MORE: Halifax fire that claimed 7 children could prompt new safety measures: experts

He says all the material will reflect some of the unique challenges immigrant families can face.

“Immigrant families are large units with elderly and children, the training content includes guidance for parents to consider both vulnerable groups,” he said.

The first training session will be held in April at the Ummah Mosque and Community Centre.

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