Fire and Police join forces on water rescue training

Six police officers from South Yorkshire have received specialist water rescue training thanks to a unique collaboration with the fire service’s specialist training school.

The ‘water rescue champions’ from South Yorkshire Police recently completed a water rescue first responder course delivered by expert trainers at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue. The course provided the officers with basic water rescue skills and awareness that they can use when they are first on scene to a water related emergency situation.

The two day course, which took place in Wales, covered a number of simple rescue techniques such as; a tethered swim, the use of throwlines, wading techniques, understanding the dangers of water and the use of water rescue gear.

Station Manager at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, Darren Robertson said: “Around 400 people needlessly drown in the UK every year and thousands more suffer injury, some life changing, through near-drowning experiences. By working closely with our partner agencies and sharing skills and knowledge through training, we can work towards reducing these numbers.

“Not only does collaborating on training like this save both services and the public money, but it also ensures we are delivering the best possible service to the people of South Yorkshire.”

As a result of the training, South Yorkshire Police have also purchased a number of throwlines to keep in patrol vehicles in case of a water rescue emergency.

Inspector at South Yorkshire Police, Alan McFarlane said: “The preservation of life is the most important duty the police have. The Rotherham district contains a number of bodies of open water, including Manvers Lake, where there have sadly been a number of drownings over the years.

“In order to increase the police’s ability to act effectively in open-water emergencies, the Rotherham District has purchased a number of throw-bag rescue aids to be carried in patrol cars.

“Having a number of officers trained in basic water rescue means they can now share this water awareness knowledge with other officers in the force.

“We are grateful for the support we have received from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue which will improve our capabilities, coordination with the fire service and ultimately help to keep the people of South Yorkshire safe.”

The Policing & Crime Act 2017 placed a new statutory duty on all three emergency services to look at opportunities to work with one another better to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

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
  • 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

Fire service seeks views from public on draft plans

The fire service is calling on people in South Yorkshire to have their say on how it plans to meet a financial shortfall of up to £4million.

Draft plans considered by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s governing Fire Authority last month propose reducing the number of firefighters on a fire engine from five to four.

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 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 to some of our communities by reducing the number of fire engines which are immediately available.

“Now we are publishing our draft plans and invite the public to share their views on them.”

All fire and rescue authorities must provide a plan which sets out the steps they will take and resources they need to deliver 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.

People can share their views via an online survey, at www.syfire.gov.uk/haveyoursay, or in writing to IRMP Consultation, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, 197 Eyre Street, Sheffield S1 3FG. The consultation will run for 12-weeks, across May, June, July and August.

Once the consultation period has ended and feedback has been considered, Fire Authority members will make the final decision on the proposals.

Have your say – public consultation

We’re calling on people across South Yorkshire to have their say on how we plan to meet a four million pound financial shortfall.

We currently face cost pressures of up to £4million, due to no longer being able to use a way of staffing our fire stations called Close Proximity Crewing, and because we might have to meet a significant, national shortfall in pension contributions.

Our proposals, which are outlined in our draft Integrated Risk Management Plan, were considered by our governing Fire Authority last month.

The key proposal within this plan is to reduce the number of firefighters on a fire engine from five to four, in order to maintain the number of fire engines we have available 24/7 across the county.

This is a change that has already been adopted by many services across the country – with the only alternative being to reduce the speed of our 999 response, during the night, at up to half of our fire stations.

We’re now publishing our draft plans, which you can see via the link above, and want you to have your say via the survey below. The consultation will run for 12-weeks, across May, June, July and August.

Before filling out the survey – we have published a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that outline why we need to make these savings, what else we’ve done to save money, why we can’t use our reserves and more.

This form collects some personal information – which will be used for monitoring purposes only, to ensure we capture views from people across the whole of South Yorkshire. By sending us a completed form you are agreeing for your data to be used in this way. More information on data sharing and protection can be found here.

IRMP Consultation - 2019

  • Your Details

  • Your Views

Police and fire launch initiative to tackle anti-social behaviour

Efforts to curb anti-social behaviour in South Yorkshire will be boosted by the launch of a new schools education package to be jointly delivered by the police and fire services.

The ‘Equinox’ package has been developed by South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s joint community safety department and aims to provide young people with key safety messages relating to anti-social behaviour during the light night period.

Four new neighbourhood fire community safety officers will be delivering the package, which lasts around 30 minutes and is free of charge, to year 9 pupils across the county.

The presentation covers a range of unacceptable anti-social behaviour activities which may cause harm to an individual, the community or the environment and students will be informed of the potential consequences of such behaviour. This includes; arson, hoax calls, off road motor-biking and vandalism.

Head of the joint community safety department, Steve Helps said: “Engaging with young people in this way is one of the best ways of building lasting, positive relationships which have long term benefits for the communities we serve.”

“Anti-social behaviour can put a big strain on local communities, so having packages like this available to schools will help to educate and inspire young people to make the correct life choices.”

The package will be offered to schools around South Yorkshire during the spring term as part of Operation Equinox, a joint police and fire initiative which aims to reduce anti-social behaviour during the spring and summer months.

Any schools requiring further information about the “Equinox” package or to book a session, please contact one of the team’s neighbourhood fire community safety officers;

Charlie Fox- 07717513071 sfox@syfire.gov.uk

Helen Woodacre -07771972600 hwoodacre@syfire.gov.uk

John Lamming- 07776225782 jlamming@syfire.gov.uk

Joe McCreesh- 07741195041 jmccreesh@syfire.gov.uk

The joint community safety department brings together staff from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and South Yorkshire Police to work together with the shared aim of keeping people safe. High profile activities the teams currently undertake include home safety checks, crime prevention visits and youth engagement activities such as the award-winning Princes Trust Team Programme, which has helped to transform the lives of more than 250 young people in two years.

The team also operates the Lifewise Centre which is an interactive safety centre in Hellaby, Rotherham. It opened in 2011 to deliver education packages to more than 20,000 local people every year, including nearly every Year 6 pupil in South Yorkshire.

The Policing & Crime Act 2017 placed a new statutory duty on all three emergency services to look at opportunities to work with one another better to improve efficiency and effectiveness.