South Yorkshire students targeted with latest road safety package

The fire service is launching a new road safety package geared towards educating Year 10 students across South Yorkshire about how to keep safe on the roads. 

The ‘H16HWAY’ package has been developed by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, with support from the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, and aims to provide young people with the tools and advice they need to keep safe on the roads as pedestrians, cyclists, scooter riders and passengers.  

Head of prevention and protection Steve Helps, said: “Every death on our roads is a tragedy, but it is even more keenly felt when it is a young person who loses their life. Young people are over represented in our casualty statistics when it comes to road traffic collisions, therefore it’s important they receive reminders about the safe use of our roads to prevent them from becoming victims.”  

Joanne Wehrle, Safer Roads Manager at South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said: “Unfortunately, there have been a total of 1522 children and young people between the ages 10 to 16 reported as injured over the last 5 years (2013-2017) on South Yorkshire roads. Of this number, 275 of them, tragically, were either killed or seriously injured as a pedestrian, passenger in a car or as the rider of a motorcycle. 

“We support packages like H16HWAY in helping us to deliver key road safety information and advice to young people in a bid to encourage safer behaviours.” 

The new package is to be delivered by Fire Community Safety Officers and will involve film clips and group discussions. Each session will last for approximately one hour and the package is free of charge.  

The service is looking to deliver the first sessions in schools around South Yorkshire from September 2018. 

As one of the single biggest killers of young people, ‘H16HWAY’ will focus on a number of road safety topics: 

•         Pedestrians – Distractions, risky behaviour and finding safe places to cross the road

•         Cyclists – Undertaking long vehicles, blind spots, hi-vis items and bike maintenance

•         Scooter riders – Wearing the appropriate gear and minimising the risk of road rash

•         Passengers – Wearing seatbelts, the risks of driver distractions and what to do if you feel unsafe in a vehicle

•         What to do in an emergency situation 

Any schools requiring further information about the “H16HWAY” package or to book a session, please contact South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue education advocate Julie Claytor on 07990 951643 / jclaytor@syfire.gov.uk or Community Safety Co-ordinator Claire Walsh 0776841802 cwalsh@syfire.gov.uk.

South Yorkshire fire crews join Saddleworth Moor effort

Two fire engines and a high volume pump from South Yorkshire have joined the huge firefighting efforts on Saddleworth Moor.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) crews have been tackling blazes near Saddleworth Moor, Tameside, since 24 June.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue mobilised crews to the area over the weekend- joining other crews from across England.

High Volume Pumps are capable of moving huge volumes of water, and South Yorkshire’s is capable of pumping 8,000 litres of water a minute. It is being used as part of a water relay system in an effort to surround the blaze to stop if from spreading.

Water safety warning as heat wave continues

Firefighters are urging the public not to swim in lakes and reservoirs, with the current hot weather in South Yorkshire set to continue.

Safety officers say people should avoid open water- like rivers and lakes- because such areas are not designed for swimming as the water is often deeper, colder and faster than expected.

Around 400 people needlessly drown in the UK every year and thousands more suffer injury, some life changing, through near-drowning experiences. People should enjoy water safely in swimming pools or safer, specialist facilities instead.

Head of Community Safety Simon Dunker, said: “We often receive 999 calls during the summer months about people getting into difficulty in water. It’s only a matter of time before someone’s safety is really put at risk unless people listen to our advice.

“We understand it can be tempting to cool off when the weather in South Yorkshire is so hot, but stick to a swimming pool. Rivers, lakes or flooded quarries are completely unsuitable for swimming as they hide a number of hidden dangers.”

The dangers of open water are:

  • The water can be much deeper than you expect
  • Rivers, lakes, canals and reservoirs are much colder than you think, rarely reaching temperatures above 15 degrees Celsius in the UK
  • Open water can carry water borne diseases, like Weils disease
  • Cold water dramatically affects your ability to swim
  • There may be hidden currents, which can pull you under the water
  • You don’t know what lies beneath, like pieces of rubbish or reeds which can trap or injure you

Collaboration expansion for South Yorkshire Police and Fire

South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has expanded its already successful collaboration programme, after appointing a Head of Joint Vehicle Fleet Management to maximise efficiency and effectiveness of both organisation’s fleet operations.

Sarah Gilding was appointed in to the role on 4 June 2018, after working for South Yorkshire Police for over 25 years. Her appointment marks a huge step forward towards the organisations’ objective of integrating fleet services under a single management and support structure, and exploring opportunities for further collaboration.

As part of her new role, Sarah will lead and develop a cost effective, efficient and resilient fleet management service for both South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. She will also provide strategic oversight and management of all aspect of both organisations’ fleet services to help progress the objectives of both services.

Sarah said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the Head of the Joint Vehicle Fleet Management Department for both South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and South Yorkshire Police.  Both organisations’ Fleet departments provide an invaluable support service to ensure our key resources are available to meet demand and I am proud to have been chosen to lead such a service.”

Prior to Sarah’s appointment, both organisations were operating separate fleet departments with similar administrative and management roles, which were identified to be best managed through a joint centralised team.

The successful collaborative programme between South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue was launched in early 2017, to build on existing activities undertaken in collaboration between both organisations. The programme has already led to the creation of a Joint Police and Fire Station in Maltby, Rotherham, the development of a Joint Community Safety Department and the appointment of a Head of Joint Estates and Facilities Management.

Firefighter recruits put best feet forward at community tea dance

South Yorkshire residents have enjoyed a tea fit for the queen thanks to trainee wholetime firefighters.

Put on as part of their 12 week training programme, the new recruits from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue hosted an afternoon tea and dance for elderly local residents and those who may feel lonely or socially isolated. The new recruits spent all afternoon serving tea and cakes to local residents and attendees were also treated to special live performances from musicians Stevie Moore and Patricia Lynn.

As part of their training course, the new recruits have been observing and working with the service’s award-winning community safety team to understand the work they do to reduce the risk of fire for the more vulnerable groups in society.

Community Safety Co-ordinator Claire Walsh, said: “Social isolation in older people is a key area for us to address in South Yorkshire and we are working with our partners and other organisations to tackle this growing issue. This latest event is the perfect illustration of that aspiration, where fire service resources are helping to improve the lives of one of the most vulnerable groups in society whilst also providing the new recruits with an understanding of the communities they will soon be serving.”

The event was hosted in partnership with Home Instead Senior Care Sheffield.

Officers believe that events like this will benefit the fire service by providing a vital link with one of its key target groups in terms of vulnerability to fire.

Lorraine Smith named MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

A South Yorkshire station manager has been named an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Lorraine Smith, aged 47, who lives in Holmfirth, has served at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue since 1997, with most of that time spent serving in its 999 Control room.

Before joining the fire service, Lorraine had worked for the armed forces, where she attained the rank of Sergeant.

In her private life, she has been a volunteer teaching adults with learning needs, fostered several children and acted as a mentor for new foster carers. A keen runner, she has also raised thousands of pounds for cancer charities.

Lorraine has been awarded her MBE for public service.

Long serving South Yorkshire firefighters honoured

More than 20 long serving firefighters, 999 operators and support staff have been honoured at a special ceremony in Sheffield.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue staged the event at Sheffield City Hall to recognise staff members who have clocked up more than 20 years serving local people.

Chief Fire Officer James Courtney and Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire Andrew Coombe presented the fire service Long Service & Good Conduct Medal to recipients in front of their family and friends. The medal was instituted by Her Majesty the Queen by Royal Warrant in 1954. It is awarded to employees who complete 20 years of meritorious service.

A special award was also presented to communications electrician Francis Delez who, with an incredible 51 years’ service behind him, is the fire service’s longest serving employee.

Group manager Trevor Bernard was given the honour of master of ceremonies, before he retires from the service next month.

Speaking at the event, Chief Fire Officer James Courtney, said: “We aspire to make South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue a great place to work, which includes recognising the efforts and achievements of our staff. As Chief Fire Officer, I therefore feel extremely proud to see so many members of our organisation recognised for the outstanding service they have given over the last twenty years or more.

“The role of a firefighter and the role of fire service has changed considerably in that time. Our responsibilities now go far beyond simply tackling fires. But one thing that will always remain the same is the pride which we all have in doing a job that can make such a positive difference in the communities we serve.”

Throwline stations unveiled in Rotherham

A throwline station has been unveiled next to a Rotherham canal.

The potentially life saving equipment has been installed close to the spot where a schoolboy drowned in 2016 and has been funded by Parkgate Shopping.

More than 20 throwline stations have been installed at open water sites across South Yorkshire in the last two years, including Doncaster Lakeside, Ulley Reservoir and Thrybergh Country Park. The lifelines have all been installed by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue working in conjunction with local partners.

The specially designed equipment contains throwlines which are stored securely to avoid vandalism, with an access code given to callers by 999 operators in the event of an emergency.

Around 400 people needlessly drown in the UK every year and thousands more suffer injury, some life changing, through near-drowning experiences. These stations provide quick access rescue capability for anyone who might find themselves in difficulties in the water.

Exercise Seadog tests response to multiple car pile up

Firefighters joined forces with Sheffield Hallam University paramedic students for a training simulation on Saturday (19 May).

The exercise saw crews from Central, Rivelin, Parkway and Birley Moor fire stations simulate their response to a multiple car pile up.

Four vehicles were used and nine ‘casualties’, including people and manikins.

DipHE Paramedic Practice & BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science students took part in the exercise, to discover how different emergency services work together at 999 incidents.

Fire crews carry out rescue water training exercise

South Yorkshire’s fire crews have taken part in a realistic water and rope rescue exercise to test their response in the event of a high-risk emergency.

The training exercise involved the rescue of two ‘casualties’ who had climbed onto a structure and were refusing to come down.

Aston Park, Edlington, Rivelin and Cudworth firefighters all took part in the exercise on the River Rother at Woodhouse Mill Regulator on the junction of Retford Road and Furnace Lane in Woodhouse, Sheffield.

Wayne Sutcliffe, station manager at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: “Firefighters respond to a huge range of emergencies, far beyond the house fires and road traffic collisions we are traditionally associated with. Both water rescues and rescues from height can be extremely complex, which is what makes training like this so important. The scenario was successfully completed and generated a great deal of operational learning.”