Fire service proposals to be considered by Authority

Fire service proposals to meet a multi-million pound financial shortfall by reducing the number of firefighters on a fire engine from five to four will be considered by its governing Authority.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says the only alternative to making the change- which has already been adopted by many other services nationwide- is to reduce the speed of its 999 response during the night time period from up to half of its fire stations.

The organisation faces cost pressures of up to £4 million, due to no longer being able to use a way of staffing fire stations called Close Proximity Crewing which and because it may have to meet a significant, national shortfall in pension contributions.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Alex Johnson, said: “We’d rather not make any changes at all, but have a duty to match our resources to local risk and to manage the service in a financially responsible way.

“We face cost pressures of up to £4 million and the extent of the savings required is inevitably going to mean changes to the way we provide our 999 service to the public.

“We think it is better to reduce the number of firefighters on a fire engine, than it is to slow down our response times by reducing the number of fire engines which are immediately available.

“Our fire engines already attend incidents with four firefighters about a third of the time- and many other UK fire services already ride with four as a norm.”

All fire and rescue authorities must provide a plan which sets out the steps they will take and resources they need to improve public safety, reduce fires and save lives. This is known as an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP). It must be publicly available, reflect consultation with stakeholders and demonstrate the most up-to-date analysis of local risk.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s draft IRMP will be considered by Fire Authority members at its meeting on Monday 8 April. If approved, the plans will then be consulted on with members of the public.

Find The Time campaign – grandparent check

How safe are your older relatives?

For our latest campaign we’re asking people tofind the timeto visitthe older people in their livesand go through our Grandparent Check, which asksa series of questionsincluding whether they live alone, smoke, need a walking aid and use emollient creams.

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Our statistics show that fire risk can increase with age and, if you answer yes to any of the questions above in relation to an older friend, neighbour or relative,they may be at higher risk and be eligiblefor a free home safety checkby our staff. Check today by filling out ourhome safetycheck referral form, below.

In the meantime,help make them saferby:

  • Making sure they have working smoke alarms
  • Ensuring they’ve got a proper ash tray, if they smoke
  • Getting them a working phone that stays with them all the time
  • Speaking to them about what to do in the event of a fire
  • Helping them de-clutter, particularly their exit routes

Home Safety Check referral form

The form below collects some personal information, which we will only use for the purposes described. You can find out more about how we collect and store personal information here.

If you’re filling this formfor someone else pleaseensure you enter their details on their behalf. Ensure that the contact number provided can be used to organise a visit.

Police and fire team picks up national award for keeping 999 workers on the road

A joint team which keeps police officers and firefighters on the road has picked up a major national award- just over a year after work started to bring their activity closer together.

South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s fleet management team were named ‘fleet of the year’ at a ceremony in London in recognition of the collaborative work they’re now leading.

The team jointly manages nearly 1,000 vehicles from fire engines to police cars.

Specific pieces of work the team has jointly undertaken include fire service mechanics repairing police horseboxes and advising on the purchase of replacement vehicles.

Police HGV drivers also now undergo driver training and certification at the fire service’s Handsworth training centre.

Police auto electricians have worked to repair fire appliances, better systems are being put in place to monitor fuel and vehicle maintenance and agreements are in place which mean police and fire officers can share pool vehicles during times of especially high operational demand.

Sarah Gilding, who was appointed Head of Joint Vehicle Fleet Management last year, said: “Staff at both organisations are already rightly proud of the role they play in supporting the activity of frontline firefighters and police officers. They are skilled and dedicated professionals who’ve really grasped the opportunities that working more closely together might bring. This is award is deserved recognition for their efforts.”

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.

Other, long standing collaborations include Lifewise, which is an interactive safety centre in Hellaby, Rotherham which has been jointly run by the police and fire services since 2011 to deliver education packages to more than 20,000 local people every year, including nearly every Year 6 pupil in South Yorkshire.

A jointly delivered Princes Trust Team Programme, which has helped to transform the lives of more than 200 young people in three years

Off duty firefighters in Welsh rescue

South Yorkshire firefighters have helped to rescue a man who fell into the sea- in Wales!

The six- Firefighter o’Donnell, Firefighter Martin, Crew Manager Marsh, Crew Manager Bowes and Watch Managers Devonport and Gaye- were visiting the principality for a water rescue training course when they spotted people rushing to the aid of a stricken casualty who slipped off the promenade in Beaumaris.

The older man had fallen into the sea whilst out walking with his wife last Wednesday morning.

Passers-by raised the alarm and secured a throwline around him.

The Beaumaris lifeboat crew and Penmon Coastguard Rescue Team were then mobilised to assist- which is when the firefighters from South Yorkshire became involved.

Watch Manager Gary Devonport, who was amongst the rescuers, said: “We’d only been reflecting that morning how we often seem to stumble upon incidents like this when we’re away on training courses, then we saw a man in a dry suit rush past the window of the room where we were having breakfast. We immediately realised something serious had happened, so we gathered our equipment and went to see what we could help.

“The lifeboat crew had successfully rescued the man from the water’s edge, then we helped to carry him back to the safety of the lifeboat station. The man was clearly in a lot of pain and with the help of the RNLI crew helped get the man out of his wet clothes. And provided him with some oxygen and thermal balnkets. at the time and had a suspected broken hip, but we understand he is making a recovery and wish him well for the future.”

Local school children the stars of new International Women’s Day video

Anyone can be anything – that’s the message in a new heart-warming film from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) today, Friday 8 March.

You can watch the video here.

Produced in celebration of International Women’s Day, the video shows what happened when three female fire service staff spent a morning with year three schoolchildren.

The kids were asked what they would like to be when they grow up, and were asked to guess what jobs their guests did, before being shocked and inspired when they found out their real occupations.

Filmed at Mosborough Primary School, in Sheffield, the aim of the video is to highlight the range of career options within the fire and rescue service – and encourage local women to register their interest in careers with SYFR.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Alex Johnson, said that the film is part of a wider effort to change perceptions around the fire service being a male dominated organisation.

“We’ve come a long way in recent years but there’s still more to do – you only have to look at the fact I’m one of only four women in the country who hold such a similar senior position, and the figure that still only five per cent of firefighters are women, to see that,” she added.

“For so long the image of the fire service that is portrayed in films and the media is of men rushing into burning buildings, but the actual reality is so far from that. We do much more community and youth engagement work now where we need a variety of skills and people that are representative of South Yorkshire’s population.

“Of course our staff do go into burning buildings but this isn’t just men, we have both male and female firefighters who go through the same rigorous testing and training process to be able to ride on one of our fire engines.

“We also have loads of amazing women working in support roles and our control room, too, and International Women’s Day provides a perfect opportunity to celebrate the work that they do – and also try to inspire more women to think about a career with us.”

The video, which has been unveiled this morning, stars Bronte Jones, a firefighter at Rotherham fire station, Sharon ‘Shaz’ Bailey, a Maintenance Operative & Driver and Amanpreet Kaur, an ICT Applications Developer.

Bronte, who graduated from her training course in December last year, is a former Mosborough Primary School pupil.

She said: “My dad works in the fire service so I’ve grown up in the fire family. I’ve wanted to be a firefighter for as long as I can remember so passing my training course at the end of the year was a dream come true. Afterwards I just thought wow, I’ve actually done it!

“There’s a lot of common misconceptions around firefighting but, man or woman, you only pass the training course – which is tough and physically demanding – if you are fit and strong enough to do the job properly.

“Of course there are times when it gets hard but, like I said to the kids at school, if you fully commit to it, work hard and maintain your standards, then you can do it – regardless of your gender. Personally I think it is the best job in the world, it’s so rewarding.

“From day one of the recruits course you are part of a team – you have the support of your fellow trainees and then the experienced instructors who guide you along the way. Then you get to station and, even though I’ve only been at Rotherham for a few months, my crew have already become my work family. Together your colleagues pass on all the knowledge they have gained over the years to shape you into the best firefighter you can be.”

Anybody interested in a career with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue can register their interest, to receive future job notifications, at www.syfire.gov.uk/find-a-job/register-your-interest/.

Older people benefiting from new slipper swap initiative

A fire service funded project in South Yorkshire is helping to prevent trips and falls in older people in their homes.

The Edlington Community Organisation, in partnership with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) has been inviting older people (50+) to bring along their old slippers and exchange them for a new safer slip-resistant pair for free.

The two year slipper swap project aims to be used in conjunction with information events to encourage the elderly and vulnerable into community venues to access other support focusing on fall prevention, Safe and Well checks and dementia awareness.

Since the start of slipper swap over 1,000 pairs of slippers have been given out along with 200 fire safety kits and 70 Safe & Well referrals.

Donations of all old slippers are re-donated to local Lions Clubs and community clothing banks who pass them on to other groups most in need within England or third world countries

The Edlington Community Organisation were awarded £39,000 for the project under the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority’s funding scheme, Stronger Safer Communities Reserve.

SYFR Head of Prevention & Protection Steve Helps said; “The project so far has been really successful with a large number of Safe & Well referrals generated which has strengthened our knowledge and referral scheme through collaborative working with our partner agencies.

“It has also made it possible for older people in the community to live safer and be more prepared for living in their own homes in the future.”

Samantha Siddall at Edlington Community Organisation said; “A pair of slip resistant, fitted slippers not only stops you from falling but also reduces the pressure on emergency services and ensures older people remain independent and active. The free slippers are also a great way to get people into other services and accessing a variety of information and advice within their community.”