Tyne and Wear fire service creates comms team

The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has set up its first PR team in an effort to beef up its campaigning.

Corporate comms manager Michelle Atkinson and comms officers Lucy Dixon and Nicola Westgarth take over the PR reins from the community safety team. Their first campaign will detail the dangers of chip-pan fires, a particular problem in the area, according to Dixon.

‘We do have a high incidence and we want people to understand the dangers and consequences of unsafe use,' said Dixon.

The fire service is well regarded among Tyne and Wear residents, but has done little to date to promote its successes, Dixon added. Forthcoming campaigns, still in development, include features in local newspapers.

Atkinson has worked at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust, British Aerospace, and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. She has become regional fire service PRO as well as corporate comms manager.

Dixon joins from the British Red Cross, where she was editorial manager, responsible for internal comms, publications and e-comms.

Westgarth joins from Newcastle New Deal for Communities, a regeneration scheme in Newcastle's West End.

Atkinson reports to corporate planning manager Nina Wilson.

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