Sheffield rough sleeper partnership hailed a success

Charities and public bodies have hailed the success of a fire service partnership set up to help those on the streets or at risk of being on the streets in Sheffield.

Twenty nine people spent the night at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s headquarters during six of the coldest nights of the year.

The new scheme has proven so successful, agencies including British Red Cross, Framework’s Street Outreach Team and Sheffield City Council’s Housing Solutions service are working with the fire service to formalise the partnership ready for next winter.

Area Manager Tony Carlin, said: “Helping people in need and saving lives is core to our mission as a fire service, so it made perfect sense for us to answer the call for emergency accommodation during the recent cold snaps. This initiative provides comfort, warmth and shelter for rough sleepers and the homeless and is a clear example of public agencies working together to help some of the most vulnerable people in our area. Whilst this was hastily pulled together for this year, it’s something we intend to repeat next winter we continue to do what we can as a fire service to make our communities safer.”

Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety said:  “It’s important to us, particularly with the recent cold weather that we have seen in the last few weeks, that extra care and shelter is provided for those most in need in the city. I’m grateful to all of the partners involved in this initiative who have planned, organised and worked together to make this happen in Sheffield for those who are most vulnerable. We’re hoping that those who have been less likely to come indoors in the past will recognise how much they can benefit from taking us up on our offer of support in the future.”

Joe Tilston, British Red Cross Senior Emergency Response Officer for Yorkshire said: “We responded to the request from Sheffield City Council alongside South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue to support the scheme providing emergency shelter to the homeless in the city. British Red Cross volunteers and staff are provided practical and emotional support, including the provision of hot food and drinks, and signposting service users to longer-term support where needed.”

Under the scheme, British Red Cross volunteers were on hand to welcome people and provide hot drinks and snacks, with Framework’s Street Outreach Team and Sheffield City Council’s Housing Solutions service helping people to access accommodation and support.

During the winter Sheffield City Council activates its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol, known locally as Weather Watch, in response to the potential risk to life when the weather is very cold.

Every week early morning outreach sessions take place in Sheffield to identify and support people who are sleeping rough.

As well as support with accommodation, Sheffield has a number of services which offer practical help and advice to rough sleepers.

This includes drop in services offering food, clothing, showers and laundry facilities as well as access to healthcare professionals and recovery support There are also services commissioned by Sheffield City Council, as well as local charities and voluntary organisations providing practical assistance, plus housing advice and support.

For more information about help for rough sleepers visit the Sheffield City Council website. or Help Us Help.

Press to test. Monthly is best

South Yorkshire fire officers are backing a national campaign to get more people to test their smoke alarms. 

The campaign, which will run from 12 March to 6 April 2018, will remind people that having working smoke alarms can save their life in the event of a fire in the home, and will encourage people to test their smoke alarms now and then regularly on a monthly basis. Messages will be promoted on the radio, online and on social media platforms.

As part of the national advertising campaign, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is encouraging people in South Yorkshire to test the smoke alarms in their home (and those vulnerable friends/relatives), and if not yet done, purchase and install smoke alarms at every level of the home.

Smoke alarms can give someone the few extra seconds they need to escape in a fire. While the majority of homes across the country now have an alarm fitted, most people are not aware that the average alarm has a lifespan of just ten years and then needs replacing.

A single smoke alarm may simply not be enough. The recommendation is at least one at every level, but to ensure you can hear them throughout your home, particularly when asleep.  Last year, in nearly half of all fires in the home where the smoke alarm did not give a warning the reason was that the alarm was not close enough to detect the fire.  Missing or flat batteries were another major cause.

Steve Helps, Head of Prevention and Protection said; “We know that smoke alarms saves lives. Analysis suggests you are at least eight times more likely to die in a fire in the home if you do not have any working smoke alarms”.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is asking people to make sure that their alarms are up to date and up to the job.

To keep your alarms in working order:

  • Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home;
  • Test your smoke alarms by pushing the button every month;
  • Check that your smoke alarms are less than 10 years old;
  • Fit smoke alarms on landings and hallways and near or in bedrooms.  Also consider in rooms which have electrical appliances – e.g. a heater or charger – or other fire risks;
  • Don’t put alarms in or near kitchens and bathrooms where smoke or steam can set them off by accident.
  • Replace your smoke alarms every ten years
  • Take a moment to check on your loved ones who may need help to test their smoke alarms to ensure they’re fully protected.

Steve Helps said; “For most of us, there is nothing more important than keeping our loved ones safe and secure. So if your alarm is getting past its best or your top floor is missing an alarm of its own, fit new ones, test them on the first of every month and protect your loved ones at all times”

“Press to test, monthly is best”

Fire service offers rough sleepers a place to stay in new cold weather partnership

The fire service will be once again be opening its doors to rough sleepers ahead of winter weather this weekend, in a new partnership to help those on the streets or at risk of being on the streets in Sheffield.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s headquarters on Eyre Street will be converted into a place to stay on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night for people at risk of sleeping rough in the cold weather.

British Red Cross volunteers will also be on hand to welcome people and provide hot drinks and snacks, with Framework’s Street Outreach Team and Sheffield City Council’s Housing Solutions service helping people to access accommodation and support.

During the winter, Sheffield City Council activates its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol, known locally as Weather Watch, in response to the potential risk to life when the weather is very cold.

Area Manager Tony Carlin, said: “Helping people in need and saving lives is core to our mission as a fire service, so it made perfect sense for us to answer the call for emergency accommodation ahead of winter warnings this weekend.

“This initiative provides comfort, warmth and shelter for rough sleepers and the homeless and is a clear example of public agencies working together to help some of the most vulnerable people in our area.”

“We intend to repeat this next winter and during any other spells of particularly severe weather as we continue to do what we can as a fire service to make our communities safer.”

Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety said: “It’s important to us, particularly with the recent cold temperatures that we have seen over the last week or so, that extra care and shelter is provided for those most in need in the city. I’m grateful to all of the partners involved in this initiative who have planned, organised and worked together to make this happen in Sheffield for those who are most vulnerable.”

“We’re hoping that those who have been less likely to come indoors in the past will recognise how much they can benefit from taking us up on our offer of support in the future.”

Joe Tilston, British Red Cross Senior Emergency Response Officer for Yorkshire said: “We have responded to a request from Sheffield City Council alongside South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue to support at a scheme providing emergency shelter to the homeless in the city this week.

“British Red Cross volunteers and staff are providing practical and emotional support, including the provision of hot food and drinks, and signposting service users to longer-term support where needed.

“We continue to be on standby to provide support to people affected by the weather conditions across the North of England, working alongside local authorities and the emergency services.”

Every week early morning outreach sessions take place in Sheffield to identify and support people who are sleeping rough.

As well as support with accommodation, Sheffield has a number of services which offer practical help and advice to rough sleepers.

This includes drop in services offering food, clothing, showers and laundry facilities as well as access to healthcare professionals and recovery support There are also services commissioned by Sheffield City Council, as well as local charities and voluntary organisations providing practical assistance, plus housing advice and support.

For more information about help for rough sleepers visit the Sheffield City Council website. or Help Us Help.

Charity car wash events during March

Firefighters across South Yorkshire will be washing cars throughout March as part of a national charity event.

The event is aimed at raising money for The Fire Fighter’s Charity, which supports injured firefighters and their families.

As well as washing cars, firefighters will also be on hand to offer road and fire safety advice.

A number of South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s fire stations are taking part in the annual event as listed below:

  • Lowedges station – Saturday 24 March 10am-1pm (Lowedges Road, Sheffield, S8 7JN)
  • Adwick station – Saturday 24 March 2pm-6pm (Quarry Lane, Woodlands, Doncaster, DN6 7RT)
  • Tankersley station – Saturday 24 March 10am onwards (Maple Road, Wentworth Industrial Estate, Barnsley, S75 3DL)
  • Penistone station – Saturday 24 March 10am onwards (Sheffield Road, Penistone, Barnsley, S36 6HN)
  • Rivelin station – Saturday 31 March 12 – 5pm (Rivelin Valley Road, Sheffield, S6 5FE)
  • Aston station – Saturday 31 March 10am onwards (Worksop Road, Aston, Rotherham, S26 2FZ)
  • Dearne station – Saturday 31 March 12pm onwards (Manvers Way, Rotherham, S63 5DN)
  • Rotherham station – Saturday 31 March 10am – 4pm (Fitzwilliam Road, Eastwood, Rotherham, S65 1ST)

Fire service welcomes sentence for Rotherham bus station arsonist

Fire officers have repeated warnings about the consequences of starting deliberate fires, following the sentencing of a boy who set fire to a bus in Rotherham.

The fire at Rotherham Interchange, Fredrick Street on 15 May 2016 was tackled by four fire engines plus a turntable ladder. It destroyed the bus and damaged the bus station, causing more than £1.8 million in damage.

The convicted youth, aged 17, but who was 15 when the offence was committed, had pleaded guilty to arson with reckless intent to endanger life. He was sentenced to a three year custodial sentence at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday (13 March).

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue fire investigator Simon Rodgers said: “This incident is further proof that people who start fires do get caught and do get convicted. Starting fires is reckless, can cause huge damage and distress to the local community and can cost lives.  We work closely with our police partners to investigate deliberate fires and thank them for their perseverance in bringing about this conviction.”

If you know of someone starting fires in your area, you can report it to South Yorkshire Police 101 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

Help wanted to track down Blitz firefighters’ families

The fire service wants help to track down the surviving members of two Sheffield firefighters who lost their lives during the blitz.

Norman Elliot, aged 35, and Fredrick Parkes-Spencer, aged 36 were both firefighters with Sheffield Police Fire Brigade on the night of 12 December 1940.

Codenamed Operation Crucible by the Germans, the raids under on 12, 13 and 15 December 1940 saw hundreds of Heinkel 111, Dornier 17 and Junker 88 bombers drop many thousands of tonnes of ordnance on Sheffield over a period of nine hours.

Dozens of firefighters from across Yorkshire and surrounding cities responded to the raids.

Norman lost his life at Union Street and Fredrick was killed at Charles Street.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue plans to name two new meeting rooms at its Eyre Street headquarters in memory of the firefighters and would like to let their families know.

If you were related to either Norman Elliot or Fredrick Parkes-Spencer, or know someone who was, please email press@syfire.gov.uk

Children talk about their firefighter mums to mark International Women’s Day

The fire service has unveiled a tear jerking video celebrating the role of women in the fire service, to mark a major global awareness day.

But firefighters are not the stars of the show- as the children of serving staff take centre stage in the super cute short film.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says the viral video’s release on International Women’s Day is designed to make more women think about a career in the fire service.

Alex Johnson, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: “Perceptions of the fire service as being a male dominated organisation are changing and here in South Yorkshire we have already come a very long way, with female firefighters serving on the front line at fire stations all over the county for nearly 30 years. We also have lots of women working in support staff roles and International Women’s Day is an ideal opportunity to celebrate the contribution all the women we employ make towards making our communities safer and stronger.

“But at the same time we fully accept that we still have a long way to go before we become truly representative of the communities which we serve. The role of a firefighter has changed considerably in recent years, and we now play a vital social role, including youth work, safety initiatives and carrying out home safety checks. As the highest ranking female officer in South Yorkshire, I will continue to be a strong advocate for women in the fire service, hopefully inspiring more women to think about a career they may never have considered before.”

Register your interest in the next round of firefighter recruitment here

Fire service opens doors to rough sleepers in new cold weather partnership

The fire service has opened its doors to rough sleepers, in a new partnership to help those on the streets or at risk of being on the streets in Sheffield

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s headquarters on Eyre Street were converted into a place to stay on Monday night, for people at risk of sleeping rough in the cold weather.

British Red Cross volunteers were on hand to welcome people and provide hot drinks and snacks, with Framework’s Street Outreach Team and Sheffield City Council’s Housing Solutions service helping people to access accommodation and support.

During the winter Sheffield City Council activates its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol, known locally as Weather Watch, in response to the potential risk to life when the weather is very cold.

Area Manager Tony Carlin, said: “Helping people in need and saving lives is core to our mission as a fire service, so it made perfect sense for us to answer the call for emergency accommodation during the recent cold weather.

“This initiative provides comfort, warmth and shelter for rough sleepers and the homeless and is a clear example of public agencies working together to help some of the most vulnerable people in our area.”

“Whilst this was initially a one-off, temporary measure, it’s something we intend to repeat next winter and during any other spells of particularly severe weather as we continue to do what we can as a fire service to make our communities safer.”

Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety said: “It’s important to us, particularly with the recent cold temperatures that we have seen over the last week or so, that extra care and shelter is provided for those most in need in the city. I’m grateful to all of the partners involved in this initiative who have planned, organised and worked together to make this happen in Sheffield for those who are most vulnerable.”

“We’re hoping that those who have been less likely to come indoors in the past will recognise how much they can benefit from taking us up on our offer of support in the future.”

Joe Tilston, British Red Cross Senior Emergency Response Officer for Yorkshire said: “We have responded to a request from Sheffield City Council alongside South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue to support at a scheme providing emergency shelter to the homeless in the city this week.

“British Red Cross volunteers and staff are providing practical and emotional support, including the provision of hot food and drinks, and signposting service users to longer-term support where needed.

“We continue to be on standby to provide support to people affected by the weather conditions across the North of England, working alongside local authorities and the emergency services.”

Every week early morning outreach sessions take place in Sheffield to identify and support people who are sleeping rough.

As well as support with accommodation, Sheffield has a number of services which offer practical help and advice to rough sleepers.

This includes drop in services offering food, clothing, showers and laundry facilities as well as access to healthcare professionals and recovery support There are also services commissioned by Sheffield City Council, as well as local charities and voluntary organisations providing practical assistance, plus housing advice and support.

For more information about help for rough sleepers visit the Sheffield City Council website. or Help Us Help.

ENDS