AS THE summer holidays approach Lookout Lion will be the ‘mane man’ to educate children across the West Midlands on how to make a 999 call in an emergency.
The colourful cartoon character is the brainchild of West Midlands Ambulance Service which has launched the campaign in conjunction with Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
The friendly feline is aimed at children aged four to seven, instructing them how to dial ‘999’ if they find themselves in a situation when they need to do so.
In the short film Lookout Lion witnesses a car crash outside his house but does he know which number to call, the location of the emergency and can he stay calm enough to ensure help gets there as soon as possible.
It ends with a message to parents about the importance of teaching children how to call 999 and the kind of things they can expect to be asked if doing so.
It is also hoped it will be used by schools as a way of educating children about the work of the emergency services and how they are there to help.
Jeremy Brown, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Emergency Operations Centre general manager, said: “Obviously we hope young children are never in the position that they need to call 999, but sadly sometimes they are and it’s vital that they are prepared in order for us to arrange help as quickly as possible.
“Hopefully this video will go a long way to making children aware of what to expect, whilst also leading into further conversations with teachers and parents about what to do and when it is appropriate to ring 999.”
Lisa Cope, Head of Contact Services for Staffordshire Police said: “As the summer holidays begin, we are asking parents to make sure they take five minutes to sit down with their children and explain how and when to call 999.
“It is important that children know their address and postcode so that if they need to call 999 at home, we can get to them as quickly as possible.”
Glynn Luznyj, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s director of prevent and protect, said: “The ‘Lookout Lion’ video highlights the importance of knowing what to do in an emergency situation to children and also to their parents.
“Supplying the correct information is vital to ensure that the emergency services respond quickly and effectively to every call for help.
“We would encourage families to have a plan detailing what to do in an emergency and to include an escape route in case a fire breaks out at home.”
Click below for supporting material, including a downloadable document for parents.