South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Fire service adds off-road vehicles as latest weapon to tackle moorland wildfires

South Yorkshire’s firefighters have a new weapon to help them tackle moorland wildfires- off road vehicles.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has added two Polaris vehicles to its fleet, helping crews to respond more effectively to wildfires and other incidents which might be hard to reach using a traditional fire engine.

The vehicles are to be fitted with water pumps which can be taken off and used to douse flames at the frontline of a large fire on moor or grass land.

Fire crews will spend the next few months being trained in their use, before the vehicles are made available to attend incidents right across South Yorkshire.

The vehicles will be based at Thorne fire station in Doncaster and Rivelin fire station in Sheffield.

Station Manager Mike Anthony, said: “We’re always committed to giving frontline firefighters the best possible kit to help them do their jobs effectively. We believe these vehicles will become incredibly versatile additions to our fleet, enhancing our ability to deal with challenging incidents on tough terrain, as well as a wide variety of other incident types.”

The investment is part of a bigger effort to enhance the service’s ability to respond to moorland wildfires, including additional welfare support and extra training for crews.

Last year, firefighters spent several weeks tackling a deep-seated fire on peat moorland in Thorne and Hatfield. The site of special scientific interest was home to several rare and endangered species.

As the weather warms up and the country unlocks, firefighters are once more urging the public to play their part in preventing moorland fires.

Their advice includes never having BBQs in open countryside or parkland, discarding of cigarettes carefully and taking your rubbish with you as glass bottles can magnify the sun’s rays starting fires.

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Service busts open firefighting myths with bold new women’s day campaign

“Not fit enough. Not strong enough. Not brave enough.”

These are just three of the myths around women in the fire service that South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has set out to bust as part of its latest International Women’s Day campaign.

With a brand new video launched today, Monday 8 March, the service is looking to celebrate its current group of female firefighters, control operators and support staff.

It’s also trying to encourage and empower women who have previously considered a role within the fire service but been put off by traditional stereotypes.

This comes ahead of a round of full-time firefighter recruitment process that will be opening up, for budding firefighters across South Yorkshire, this summer.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again but, whilst I’m proud of how far we’ve come in recent years, there is still a long way to go to fully dispel the long-standing myth that firefighting is a job for men,” said South Yorkshire’s Chief Fire Officer, Alex Johnson.

“This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), and the Choose To Challenge theme, provides us with the perfect opportunity to do that. We want to make it totally clear that women are fit enough, strong enough and brave enough to do this job.

“We’ve been doing it for years already and we’re here to stay. The fantastic women within my service, a small handful of which are featured in our video and up-coming podcast, are living and breathing examples of that.

“So if you’re a woman who has long considered applying for a career in the fire service, but perhaps needed a little nudge, then consider this that nudge. As South Yorkshire’s Chief Fire Officer, with 30 years’ service, I’ve done it, and so can you.”

As well as launching its new video, the service is set to release a special IWD episode of its podcast series, Shout, later this week.

The ‘pod’ features Chief Fire Officer Alex Johnson, Watch Managers Kirsty Wright and Caz Whiteman and Firefighter Helena Rooke.

Following the same ‘Choose To Challenge’ theme, the feature length episode sees the group breaking down old stereotypes and sharing their career experiences to date.

It’s hoped that the service’s latest show of support for International Women’s Day will boost the number of women registering their interest in fire service careers.

This can be done here via the service’s website – with those who register their interest in firefighting jobs the first to know about any future recruitment.

Last year, the service saw a huge increase in registrations from the LGBT+ community after hitting back at trolls on social media.

Prior to that, previous campaigns around International Women’s Day and Black History Month saw a big increase in female and BME registrations respectively.

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Firefighters needed at on-call stations across South Yorkshire

The county’s fire service is calling for people in Askern, Rossington, Birley and Stocksbridge to step up and serve their communities as on-call firefighters.

After a hugely successful recruitment campaign in September, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) says three out of their seven on-call stations now have no vacancies.

But there are still spaces for on-call staff in Askern, Rossington, Birley and Stocksbridge, prompting the service to launch another recruitment push during March.

Anyone interested is urged to register their interest on the service’s website, here, with next steps then being sent out in due course.

“On-call firefighters are local people who live or work within five minutes of their stations – they are trained to the same standard as full-time firefighters but carry a pager when they are on-duty that alerts them if they are needed,” said SYFR Station Manager, Chris Tyler.

“We couldn’t have been more pleased after September’s campaign – filling the vacancies at four stations is quite the achievement – and we’re hoping to have more success with our final three stations during this next push.

“Being an on-call firefighter is a big commitment and the nature of the role means it takes an extraordinary person but our message is clear – if a small part of you thinks you can do it, you most likely can, and we’ll help you along the way.

“Should you be interested, even in the slightest, I’d encourage you to take a look at the information on our website and register your interest for more details.”

On-call firefighters are able to fit their duties around other work and family commitments – they get paid an annual ‘retainer fee’ and then get paid for each incident they attend.

They also get paid for any training and work done in the community. More information on the role and what it entails can be found here.

Those interested must live or work within a five minute drive of Askern, Rossington, Birley or Stocksbridge fire stations – with there potentially being a small bit of flexibility with this.

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