Fire safety in Chinese
By JUDITH LACY - Tribune | Sunday, 24 August 2008
It wasn't quite the lucky 08-08-08, but the launch date of a Chinese language booklet in Palmerston North had enough eights, plus a fire safety-significant one.
The liberally illustrated 10-page booklet covers fire safety tips for around the home and has already been translated into Maori and French.
Launched on 18-08-08, the Chinese booklet is a joint initiative by the Palmerston North Fire Service and the Manawatu branch of the New Zealand Chinese Association.
Last year a group of older Chinese visited the Palmerston North fire station to learn about fire safety and co-ordinator May Needham identified a need for a Chinese language booklet.
Soon after taking up her position, Mrs Needham found older Chinese were not accessing information available to "mainstream" New Zealanders.
Manawatu Chinese Association vice president Tony Thackery told the launch the booklet would be of vital importance to many new Chinese migrants. If it assisted in saving one life or someone from serious injury, the venture had been worthwhile.
Firefighter Mitch Ormsby, who worked with Mrs Needham on the project, hoped the relationship would continue and more fire safety tools could be developed.
The booklet's development was funded by the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust and COGS, with printing costs met by the Fire Service.
Representatives from the Department of Internal Affairs, Age Concern, St John and Settlement Support also attended the launch.
Settlement Support co- ordinator Shelley Davenport said getting official material in languages accessible to migrants was an ongoing challenge.
The fire safety booklet had a strong lifesaving message and was "just brilliant", she said.